HARARE – EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Jobst Von Kirchmann Thursday briefly met President Emmerson Mnangagwa where he got assurances Harare shall deliver free and fair elections this year.
Zimbabwe heads for potentially watershed polls in the second half of this year amid opposition concerns over credible polls.
Mnangagwa has since assured the EU diplomat his administration will preside over peaceful polls.
Speaking to journalists after paying a courtesy call on the Zimbabwean leader Thursday, ambassador Kirchmann said the need for free and fair elections topped the agenda.
“The first topic was the importance of free, fair and peaceful elections,” he said.
“And the President has said multiple times and underlined the importance of fair and peaceful elections.
“And we also discussed what the EU could do to support those elections, notably with an election observation mission which depends on the limitation of the President.
“But I am very confident we are on good track once a date for elections has been proclaimed.”
The EU has invested keen interest in the delivery of free and fair Zimbabwe polls.
Late last year, the bloc gave the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission US$5.9 million to strengthen its operations so as to deliver credible polls.
Zimbabwe civil society has warned the country’s polls could once again slide into chaos amid early signs of a violent campaign period.
Rights groups have often accused the ruling Zanu PF party of visiting brutalities against opposition supporters in the country’s previous elections.
Former state security minister Owen Mudha Ncube is among some Zanu PF officials who have threatened to wage violence against opponents during campaigns for this year’s elections.
In his past public addresses, Mnangagwa has called for peaceful elections although opponents have dismissed his calls as halfhearted since a lot of his supporters accused of waging violence against opponents walk free. – ZimLive