Ireland pledges more co-operation

THE Irish government says it plans to increase developmental co-operation with Zimbabwe following the inauguration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa in November last year.
Irish ambassador to Zimbabwe, Liam MacGabhann told Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda on Tuesday that the ball was in Mnangagwa’s court to earn full engagement with the West by ensuring the forthcoming elections are held in a free, fair and transparent manner.

By Tinotenda Munyukwi /
ShingIRai Vambe

“On the political situation, we have had problems of co-operation for many years, now that there has been a change, we are expecting that the election will be free, fair and transparent,” he said.

“From there, my vision is that we will develop our engagement over the common areas, put more resources into developmental co-operation programmes, and talking to Irish businesses to develop their investment trading interests in Zimbabwe.”

MacGabhann said Ireland would fund leadership training courses for MPs at the University of Johannesburg, with six legislators expected to participate later this year.
Mudenda said leadership courses for MPs were important to ensure they carry out their mandate from an informed position.

Meanwhile, a European Union elections preparatory meeting delegation met Mudenda on Wednesday to discuss electoral issues, including the biometric voter registration, the right of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to vote and disenfranchisement of voters.

Mudenda said the closed door meeting discussed the role of Parliament during the electoral process.

“We informed the delegation that Parliament was already in the process of amending the Electoral Laws with the Electoral Amendment Act currently in the second reading stage in the National Assembly,” he said.

“On the Diaspora vote, we told the EU delegation that, at the moment, it is very difficult for Diasporans to vote because of logistical problems where they need to travel to register to vote and also to travel to cast their votes at their respective wards.”

The delegation comprised EU Ambassador Philippe Van Damme, Patrick Costello, who is the European Action Service head of division, and Erminia Notarangelo, who heads the division for democracy and electoral observation in Southern Africa.

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