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EU Report on Zimbabwe's August Election Predictably Biased, Reports State Media

© AP PhotoZimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa casts his vote at a polling station in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa casts his vote at a polling station in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 20.11.2023
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party was re-elected in late August for his second term. Observer missions, including from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the European Union, and the Commonwealth monitored the elections.
The report of the European Union monitoring mission on Zimbabwe's August elections was "misleading and biased", Zimbabwe's state-owned newspaper, the Herald, said, citing analysts. According to the outlet, the report was based on the EU observer mission's prejudice against the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party and its support of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party.
Speaking about the issue, a researcher at the Zimbabwe Academic Research Network, Augustine Tirivangana, highlighted that the report did not make any fresh recommendations and failed to provide evidence of the violations of the electoral process, the newspaper said.

"Well, the report does not recommend anything really newer than the old script. There is no reference whatsoever to where the electoral process was stalled. But what I find significant is that even this report confesses it is powerless to alter the course of electoral results. It is simply futuristic and purely suggestive, thus settling any doubts about any revision to the status quo," he was quoted by the outlet as saying.

Another Zimbabwean political analyst, Hamadziripi Dube, pointed out that the EU report is only interested in focusing on the weaknesses in the August elections and makes no mention of the improvements that have been made, the newspaper reported.

"The EU distanced itself from its mandate of advising the Government on future improvements to be made, only to nail the Government and condemn the political landscape before and after elections. In actual fact, the essence of the EU report shows its disappointment and that they did not expect the revolutionary party to win the 23 August elections," he emphasized.

President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa looks on as he addresses a press conference at State House in Harare on August 27, 2023. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 28.08.2023
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Dube also stressed that "there is more negativity in the report than complimenting the electoral process of 23 August," the Herald noted.

"Zimbabwe is not exceptional, the pitfalls and challenges faced by ZEC [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission] happen in [observer countries] too. There is no special reason to paint Zimbabwe black based on widely made mistakes," the expert was cited as saying.

A researcher from the Catholic University of Zimbabwe, Tongai Dana questioned the impartiality of the EU report, which according to him, looked as though it had been pre-drafted, the media said.

"It is essential for the Government of Zimbabwe to examine the methodology, sources of information, and the overall credibility of the EU monitoring process. Questions may be raised about the independence of the monitors, their selection process, and any potential biases that could have influenced their findings," Dana noted.

Furthermore, before the elections took place, a plot, aiming to "discredit the outcome" of the country's polls, was reportedly exposed by the Herald which revealed that the EU observer mission was in cahoots with the US non-governmental association the Carter Center.
Zimbabwe's president Emmerson Mnangagwa greets delegates at the partys congress in Harare, Friday, Oct, 28, 2022. Mnangagwa officially opened a ruling party congress that is set to renominate him as the party's presidential candidate for next year's election.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 04.09.2023
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The newspaper went on to reveal that other missions had been encouraged by the EU mission to amend their reports so they were all in agreement in painting as bleak a picture as possible about Zimbabwe.
Commenting on this, the country's Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Jenfan Muswere noted at a press conference in Zimbabwe's capital Harare on Saturday that there was proof the EU mission and other election observer missions had engaged in covert operations to compromise the election results, the media revealed.

"We also have substantial evidence of the EU EOM's [Election Observation Mission] clandestine operations with other election observer missions for the purpose of manipulating their reports to discredit the election outcome," he said.

After the results of the Zimbabwean election in late August, Mnangagwa, who leads the governing ZANU-PF [Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front] party, was re-elected for his second term.
The elections were monitored by groups of observers, including from SADC, the EU, and the Commonwealth. After the polls, the incumbent president's main rival in the presidential race, opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party rejected the election results.