BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE European Union observer mission (EUOM) has expressed concern over its failure to meet Parliament to assess progress on the implementation of electoral reform recommendations.
The EU mission made 23 recommendations after the hotly contested 2018 elections, including the alignment of the Electoral Act to the Constitution and that the independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) must be observed.
EU election follow-up head of mission Elmar Brok told journalists last Friday in Harare that the EUOM, met Zec, civil society organisations, government ministries, the ruling Zanu PF party and opposition political parties among other organisations to check progress on the implementation of the recommended electoral reforms.
Brok, however, said they failed to meet Parliament, which was crucial becasue the majority of recommendations are centred on legislative reforms.
“The Electoral Follow up Meeting (EFM) sent a request for meetings to be organised with the Speaker of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate during the visit of the Chief of Mission, but unfortunately we did not receive any response,” the EUOM said.
“The experts will be there this week and we hope they will be able to meet with representatives of Parliamentary Portfolio Committees. Given that many of the recommendations provided for in the 2018 EUOM reports were on legal reforms, the EFM considers it crucial to meet with representatives from Parliament,” he added.
But Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda dismissed the claims saying that Parliament had made provisions to meet EUOM.
“Why are they coming to the media when they know where to find Parliament? They gave dates up to the end of this month and the time has not lapsed. We have made provisions to meet with them. If they have any problems they should come to Parliament,” Chokuda said.
Preliminary findings of the EUOM revealed that Zimbabwe has failed to implement electoral reforms to guarantee free and fair elections next year.
The EU mission final report is expected early June.