Mnangagwa threatens to bar international election observers

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By Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has hinted at barring international election observers from monitoring the upcoming general plebiscite.

Writing in his weekly column in the state-controlled newspaper, The Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa revealed that his administration is considering a strict selection process for election observers.

The President said only those nations who invite Zimbabwe to observe their own elections in future will also be invited to do the same.

His latest stance is in stark contrast to his stance ahead of the previous general election in 2018 which saw an influx of Western observers, who were banned in previous votes during the reign of the late long-time leader Robert Mugabe.

“Going forward, and as a country and Nation which is proudly African and sovereign, we shall be insisting on the principle of reciprocity when it comes to the practice of international election observation,” Mnangagwa said.

As a sovereign country, according to Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s elections and democratic processes will not be determined by foreigners.

“The time will soon come when we will not accept that condescending and even racist view of a pecking order when it comes to measuring electoral democracy unfolding in our sovereign countries, and which, in any event, is meant for our people.

“A pecking order with white super-dogs who must observe elections of lesser beings, on the one side; and black underdogs whose polls must be observed, passed or failed, on the other,” he added.

The theory and practice of election observation, according to the President, must be on the basis of equality and reciprocity among nations.

“Nothing about our chequered colonial history justifies that false hierarchy; nothing in present international rules legitimises that presumptuous supremacy..

“The theory and practice of election observation must be on the basis of equality and reciprocity among nations. Anything less and one-sided diminishes and creates a deep sense of bruise and injury to our sovereignty.”

Zimbabwe is bracing for a crunch presidential election which according to the minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, will be held between July 26 and August 26 this year.

Mnangagwa is expected to proclaim the election date soon.