MDC secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga says Vice-President Joice Mujuru jumped the gun by prematurely announcing that foreign observers from Western countries would be barred from observing this year’s harmonised elections.
Report by Stephen Chadenga
Misihairabwi-Mushonga lashed out at Mujuru accusing her of subverting process as the government has not taken an official position over the
Addressing journalists at the Gweru Press Club on Friday, Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the three coalition government partners had not come up with a position regarding which foreign election observers to invite.
“At the negotiating table no position has been taken as to who would be included on board as election observers,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who is also Regional Integration and International Co-operation minister said.
“I also sit in the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) and there is no such position disallowing election monitors from Western countries.
“Before people rush to make such statements, they should allow institutions mandated to handle such issues to do so.
“Being exclusionary gives a sense that you have something to hide. The more observers come to observe the election the more legitimate it becomes.”
Mujuru, then Acting President, told mourners during the burial of the late Zimbabwe Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo John Mayowe at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare that election observers from Western nations would not be allowed in the forthcoming poll.
She was quoted as saying: “Why should we be monitored by other countries outside the Southern African Development Community (Sadc)when we are a sovereign State?”
Mujuru accused the West of seeking to manipulate the electoral system and influence election results to suit their preference.
Zanu PF has always expressed pessimism over the impartiality of election monitors and observers seconded by Western countries. Instead, the party has always advocated for observers from Sadc and the African Union.