A PLOT to tarnish and discredit the outcome of harmonised elections being held in Zimbabwe today by the European Union Observation Mission and the United States-based Carter Centre has been exposed amid indications that the two missions are biased and working with the opposition CCC.
Sources said the EU is also desperately trying to incite and convince other observer missions to synchronise their reports which would paint a gloomy picture about Zimbabwe.
According to the sources, there has been clear evidence of general bias by Election Observer Missions covering the 2023 harmonised elections, particularly the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) and the Carter Centre, in favour of the opposition CCC.
Observer missions from the West have clearly been focusing their engagements on CCC aligned civil society organisations (CSOS), inter-alia, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CICZ), Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHCD) and Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP).
This, and the fact that their preliminary reports parroted the CCC narrative of an uneven electoral field and alleged Zanu PF perpetrated political violence, points to a pre-conceived opinion on the electoral process and outcome.
According to sources, several key observations testify to the nefarious activities and collusion by the observer missions.
“It has been observed that despite the nation having 16 political parties contesting in the elections, the observer missions are curiously tracking the CCC and like-minded entities, sidelining other political actors’ voices.
“There was a push from the European Union and its local Ambassadors for SADC and the African Union to synchronise and come up with similar reports as the one to be produced by the European Union Electoral Observer Mission,” said the source.
According to the well-placed sources, CSOs are misrepresenting public opinion by claiming that the generality of citizens want a new Government, while the observers are taking those assertions for fact to serve their preconceived opinion.
“Observers by mandate, are supposed to openly engage citizens and institutions across the political divide, as well as present their objective independent opinions in separate reports.
“The clear bias and attempts by the EU-EOM and the Carter Centre to coerce other observers, including the AU, SADC and COMESA missions to synchronise their reportage, violates international best practices on electoral observation.”
Some of the people interviewed by the EU-EOM include CCC sympathiser Dr Ibbo Mandaza, the convenor of the Sapes Trust whose comments are deliberately going to paint a bad picture of Zimbabwe’s elections.
To further buttress that the issues that the EU and Carter Centre are addressing are inclined towards CCC interests, their structured questions appear to be guided by the party’s allegations.
These include those asked when the mission visited Chief Seke in Seke Constituency.
During the visit on 20 August 2023 at the chief’s homestead, the EU Observer Mission comprised Chief Observer, Fabii Massimo Castaldo, Press Officer, Eberhard Laue, Political Analyst, Stefan Szwed, Long Term Observer, Carlos Guimaro and Long Term Observer, Norah Kankascian.
Mr Guimaro indicated that the purpose of the visit was to introduce the Chief Observer to Chief Seke. However, along the conservation they asked political questions knowing fully well that traditional leaders are apolitical.
Some of the questions asked by Mr Castaldo to Chief Seke include: Are you a politician?; Which political party are you going to vote for?; Has the Government given all political parties equal space to campaign?; What are the roles of traditional leaders in this election?
Other questions asked include: Are you aware that the EU Press Observers were denied access to ZEC?; In Seke, there is a record of harassment of CCC members and what is your comment?
Of importance is that the meeting seems to have been rehearsed since Chief Seke knew the mission was going to interview him.