THERE was nothing surprising about the EU Election Observer Mission’s ‘final’ report released on Friday last week.
It was a regurgitation of the bloc’s initial foiled attempt to sway the August 23 harmonised elections in favour of the embattled opposition CCC or at the very least, to push for another Government of National Unity.
The ‘final’ report is not a surprise considering that in the pre and post-election period, the EU EOM and some elements in the SADC EOM worked feverishly to clinch victory on behalf of the stuttering CCC.
The West’s regime change project, which was in full motion during those elections, has, in recent weeks, been reincarnated through the so-called ‘final’ election reports which read like CCC’s manifesto.
And there have been several attempts to smuggle the fictitious reports to SADC, AU and the UN as they seek another inclusive Government which is meant to fracture and severely weaken the ruling ZANU PF.
Hence the latest EU EOM report.
The tepid report which, as reported by this publication, reads like Zambia’s Nevers Mumba SADC EOM widely discredited report, typically dismissed the election, repeating CCC’s lies about the whole process while dangling the re-engagement carrot.
Like his predecessor, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, CCC ‘leader’ Nelson Chamisa has time and again claimed that he has the ‘keys’ to unlock the country’s potential, a claim that has not been bought by the alert voters.
As exclusively revealed by this publication a few weeks ago, Chamisa was given US$5 million to boost what was always going to be his unlikely chances of electoral victory against President Emmerson Mnangagwa and ZANU PF.
As was the case in Mumba’s report, there was open support for CCC in the EU EOM report which glowingly portrayed the out-of-sorts movement as a ‘victim’ of ‘electoral malpractices’ during the voting process.
The August 23 election was supposed to be won by CCC as seen by the several phone calls and meetings held between Mumba and his Western handlers at a certain hotel in Harare on the eve of those polls and shortly before he presented ‘his’ preliminary report to the media.
Both entities would release almost identical reports, confirming Zimbabwean authorities’ suspicions of collusion between the two groupings.
It is this unholy alliance between the EU and some elements in SADC that puts the credibility of their reports to test.
They systematically laid siege to the country’s laws in their preliminary reports.
Consider the following:
“The Mission noted the controversy emanating from the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA), which sets out a process for notifying the Zimbabwe Republic of Police of the intention to hold a campaign activity. In this respect, there were stakeholder concerns about the right to freedom of assembly for election campaign purposes, whereupon the CCC reported that their rallies were being subjected to unreasonable cancellation by the Zimbabwe Republic Police,” said SADC EOM.
The EU EOM said the following:
“The campaign was moderately visi-
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ble, and the atmosphere was calm, but underpinned by palpable tensions. Freedom of assembly was unduly restricted in many cases by arbitrary implementation of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MPOA). Police used force to disperse several opposition gatherings.”
While the same narratives were repeated in the two entities’ final reports, the reality is that both the EU, Mumba and whoever he was representing messed up CCC’s chances prior to the electionsthrough that interference and bribery.
Their attempt to sneak CCC into government via the backdoor will also come to naught.
Chamisa and senior officials in his party have, in recent weeks, been covertly making overtures to the country’s authorities for possible co-option into Government.
That too will suffer a stillbirth.
“While Election Day was largely calm, it was assessed as disorderly. The late opening of hundreds of polling stations descending into the next day seriously impeded some citizens’ right to vote. The delays were most pronounced in Bulawayo, Harare and in Manicaland appeared to have disproportionately affected some opposition strongholds,” said EU EOM chief observer Fabio Massimo Castaldo, conveniently ignoring voters were given ample time to cast their vote in the affected areas.
“This especially relates to the right of association, to express freely, not related to by bureaucratic barriers such as the undue nomination fees. This is critical to bring legislation in line with the regional and international (standards). It would be necessary that the Zimbabwean authorities saw the political will to engage in these reforms, to lay the ground for genuine and credible elections in the future.”
Then the subtle re-engagement threat.
“I would like to emphasise that the EU EOM came to Zimbabwe as a partner and in the spirit of achieving common goals to further advance democratic processes. It is important to also view the EU EOM’s recommendations in this context. It is up to Zimbabweans to take ownership of their implementation. The European Union remains ready to assist such efforts,” said Castaldo.
And this was a case of history repeating itself on the part of the EU. Unlike in 2002 when head of the EU Observer Mission, Pierre Schori, then Sweden’s Ambassador to the UN, was deported in February of that year for interfering with the country’s processes and openly endorsing Tsvangirai’s Presidential bid, this time around the Western bloc is using pre and post-election reports and blackmail to extort Zimbabwe.
The overall thrust of the drive is to arm-twist the country to embrace the opposition, a highly unlikely proposition given its erratic behaviour when all is said and done.