UK says ready to observe Zimbabwe polls

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Spread the love

THE United Kingdom (UK) and its allies have said they are ready to monitor and observe Zimbabwe’s polls expected to be held in August if they are invited.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has since hinted that countries that have in the past invited Zimbabwe to their own plebiscites will be the only ones allowed to observe the country’s harmonised elections.

Recently, UK Conservative member Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park was asked by Labour party member Lord Boateng whether the UK and its allies were considering sending election observers to Zimbabwe’s polls.

In response, Goldsmith said the UK was working alongside international partners to prepare support for domestic and international election observer missions.

“However, as is standard practice, invitations for observation missions will not be issued by the government of Zimbabwe until the election date is announced. Alongside a small British embassy Harare electoral monitoring mission, we hope to see larger electoral missions from the African Union, Southern African Development Community, European Union, Commonwealth and other non-governmental organisations,” Goldsmith said.

In his latest weekly column in a State-run newspaper, Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe would not be dictated on who to invite to observe its elections.

“The time will soon come when we will not accept that condescending and even racist view of a pecking order when it comes to measuring electoral democracy unfolding in our sovereign countries, and which in any event is meant for our people,” Mnangagwa said.

In the past international observer missions have ruled Zimbabwe’s elections as not free and fair.

Source – newsday