Foreign observers row threatens polls: Ncube

HARARE - A row over the role of international poll observers threatens to scuttle the electoral process as Zanu PF maintains that Zimbabwe has the capacity to hold free and fair elections without observers’ probing eyes.

As the nation braces for the watershed general election slated for this year, Zanu PF remains adamant it will bar observers from “hostile” nations to monitor the elections.

Leader of the smaller MDC Welshman Ncube says international observers should be a pre-condition.

Ncube says the notion of allowing international monitors has only been contested by Zanu PF.

“There is a particular class of observers which Zanu PF does not want; those who are perceived to have prejudged the election results,” Ncube said.

“The notion of having Sadc and the Non-Aligned Movement as part of the observers is not contested, but Zanu PF will not allow the European Union on the premise of their differing ideologies,” Ncube said.

Ncube, a minor partner in the shaky coalition government told the Daily News that the other players in government have admitted that Zimbabwe has no capacity to monitor its own elections, hence the need for international observers.

He took a swipe at Zanu PF, saying: “If you have nothing to hide then why would you bar observers from monitoring the elections.”

The 2008 election results were bitterly contested by Zanu PF, culminating into violence.

The former ruling party has in the past denied EU and US observers access to observe Zimbabwean elections, claiming Western countries had a vendetta against Mugabe.

Zimbabweans are likely to go for elections in June after the constitutional referendum which will probably be held in February or March. - Nyasha Chingono

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