PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s government will not invite or accredit teams from hostile countries to observe the country’s general elections expected next year, but will accept technical and financial support from such nations, Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo has said.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Making reference to the European Union (EU), Britain and the US, Chombo said it did not make any sense for the government to invite countries that had imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe and are pushing for regime change.
Chombo said they will only invite election observer missions from Sadc, the African Union and other organisations and countries Zimbabwe has good relations with.
“We have invited Sadc [and] the African Union to come and be observers, but we have not extended the invitation to countries that have imposed sanctions on us,” he said in his response in the Senate on Thursday to a question from Manicaland Senator, David Chimhini on government policy in the selection of international election observers.
“It will be folly [and] unwise to say you have imposed sanctions on me, you do not want to see me, my children, but I am so anxious to have you come and see my children.
“You do not invite those you do not have relations with.”
Chombo said non-governmental organisations (NGOs) suspected of pushing a regime change agenda also risked
being barred from observing the polls, or having their invites revoked.
“Furthermore, when certain countries bend together, put money together, create bogus organisations and put them in these countries masquerading as NGOs in order to effect regime change, we do not invite them,” he said.
“We should even reverse the invitation of those bodies that are here to go back to their countries because they are here for no good, to effect regime change and this we should not accept.”
Chimhini then questioned why the government continued to accept funding for election processes from the EU, but did not want the bloc to monitor the country’s polls.
“We accept gifts or donations from those who are charitably disposed to give us and the gifts should not come with preconditions that I want to come and observe elections, no,” Chombo responded.
“It does not mean that if I have lunch with you, I am obligated to invite you to my son’s wedding, no. That argument does not follow, but you are also being diplomatic.”