ZIDERA senator, EU and USA invited to observe elections

Spread This News

Staff Reporter

The government on Monday released the list of names of countries, organisations and individuals invited to observe this year general elections which are expected between July and August.

The European Union (EU) and United States of America (USA) are notable inclusions on the list which features 46 countries, 15 organisations and 2 individuals.

The invitation of EU and USA comes at a time when the new president Emmerson Mnangagwa has taken a new diplomat approach with regard to the West since he took over power last November.

Predecessor Robert Mugabe, beginning in 2002, refused to allow observers from the West, accusing them of bias against him and his ruling Zanu PF party.

Also of interest on the list which was released by the foreign affairs ministry, is United States Senator Jeffrey Flake, one of the drafters of the US sanctions against Zimbabwe.

“During the previous elections, we had a stand-off with the West,” foreign affairs permanent secretary told State media after the release of the list.

“Some of the Western countries imposed sanctions on us and the rationale in Government then was that they were no longer neutral observers when they had already taken a position against us.

“In the new dispensation, Government decided to re-engage with the West and the rest of the international community and this (the invitation) is also in line with the Government’s commitment to run a free, fair and credible election.

“Government has nothing to hide, so we are inviting everyone including those countries that still maintain sanctions on us.”