EU to monitor State resources abuse

HARARE - ZANU PF is under the spotlight after the European Union (EU) said they will closely monitor the abuse of State resources during the campaign ahead of this month’s harmonised elections.

The ruling Zanu PF party which recently splashed money when they bought several campaign vehicles and campaign regalia worth millions of dollars has over the years been accused by the opposition of using State funds to fund its campaign.

It has also been accused of abusing State resources in mobilising people to attend their rallies.

EU Election Observation Mission’s chief observer Elmar Brok told journalists recently that although all political parties have been able to hold rallies they are still monitoring the process ahead of the elections.

“More generally, it is clear that all parties have been able to hold rallies and meet voters across the country, which is promising. We hope the campaign can continue in this manner and with the absence of inter or intra-party violence.

“We will continue to follow this and will be assessing campaign freedoms, the use of State resources, any violent incidents and also if media, and notably State media, provide fair and balanced coverage or not.

“Given the context of past contentious elections, great efforts need to be made to ensure public and political confidence in the 2018 polls.

“In this regard, enhanced transparency and inclusivity, confidence in the integrity of the voters’ roll, the peaceful conduct of the polls and an environment whereby voters are truly able to express their will and cast a vote in secret are imperative.”

Brok said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) must solve contentious issues related to the voters’ roll.

“At this stage I do not want to start offering assessments on individual aspects of the process, as it would be premature for me to do so. But I feel it is important to stress that in addition to the technical management of the process, great efforts need to be made to ensure transparency and inclusivity, enhancing the confidence of all stakeholders in the credibility of the preparations.

“At the end of the day elections are both a technical and political exercise and so the confidence and trust of political stakeholders needs to be an important consideration.

“The creation of a brand new biometric voters’ roll for the elections is welcomed. This has been a major effort by Zec. However, I understand that a number of contentious issues related to the roll have been evident, including the process for sharing the roll.

“We look forward to hearing the results of the (civil society organisations) CSO voters’ roll audits currently being undertaken and hope that Zec will be in a position to ensure the list is as accurate and inclusive as possible for election day, with any anomalies addressed.”

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