The European Union is to send an observer mission to Zimbabwe for this year’s elections and has called on Harare to make sure that a legal framework conducive to freedom of expression, freedom of the media and freedom of assembly is in place before the elections.
This was said by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini after meeting Zimbabwe Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo in Brussels today.
The meeting was a follow up to the visit of Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica to Zimbabwe early this month.
Mogherini welcomed Zimbabwe’s commitment to peaceful, inclusive, transparent and credible elections.
He also noted the will of the new authorities to bring forward comprehensive political and economic reforms and confirmed the EU readiness to further support the country in this regard.
Zimbabwe is expected to hold its harmonized election in July or August.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised free and fair elections to get Zimbabwe back into the international community.
He says the elections will be open to international observers including the United States and Britain, the United Nations and continental and regional bodies.
While some observers feel that Mnangagwa will have an easy victory because of the disjointed opposition others feel that the ZANU-PF baggage he is carrying might cost him the elections as people want change and bel1`ieve that he is not capable of bringing that change as he is just a continuing of former President Robert Mugabe.
But Mnangagwa’s new mantra- Zimbabwe is open for business- has won him the admiration of the business community.
This is, however, not likely to translate into votes unless he creates “jobs, jobs, jobs” before the elections.