Clive Tatenda Makumbe in Zimbabwe
Elmar Brok, the head of the European Union (EU) electoral mission, told NGO Africa Watch on Friday that, as Zimbabwe approaches the General Elections earmarked for 2023, duty bearers should begin all processes to amend key electoral reforms so that all political parties have level playing field before the polls.
Brok and his team were assigned to Zimbabwe by their headquarters in Belgium (Brussels) to reflect on their research findings after their first visit to Zimbabwe during the July 2018 elections.
Addressing media practitioners, Brok, a German national, said the EU mission provided Zimbabwe government officials with 23 recommendations for the electoral reforms.
“It has to do with even playing field, the impartiality of the [state] media, equal treatment of the parties, a proper voters’ registration, there is a multipart liaison committee, there will be proper conducting of elections, the conduct on election day – the transparency – and then counting and the collection of the counting to the final results. If that is transparently clear, no loopholes, then it’s the best way to have peace in the country, because nobody says there was something wrong with the elections, to get the credibility of elections.”
Earlier, though, Raphael Faranisi, the acting permanent secretary in Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, said the government is looking forward to June 7, when Harare and Brussels officials meet.
“This will be yet another opportunity to candidly assess progress to date and plan for the future, based on realistic expectations. I have heard concerns expressed with respect to development in Zimbabwe. But I just want to put it on record that, in terms of the reforms that we have carried out, the challenge is: I just want you to give me three, four countries on our continent that have really done better than us. For those that have been following closely development in Zimbabwe, we are on that reform trajectory and it’s not reversible.”