BRUSSELS- The European Union will deploy observers to Zimbabwe’s general election expected in July, the first time in 16 years the bloc will monitor polls in the southern African country.
Late on Monday both the EU and Zimbabwean government signed a memorandum outlining guidelines for election monitors.
In March Zimbabwe formally invited the EU to send an election observation mission. The elections expected to be held in July will be the first time since former president Robert Mugabe rule was over thrown last year by the military.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, of the Zanu-pf will be facing off against MDC opposition leader Nelson Chamisa who will be youngest opposition leader at just 40 years old.
Under Mugabe rule election were marred by corruption, rigging allegations, intimidation and violence. But his successor Mnangagwa has promised a free and fair election.
Philippe Van Damme, head of the EU delegation in Zimbabwe, said after signing the memorandum with Zimbabwe’s foreign minister Sibusiso Moyo, ” EU welcomes the commitment of the government to peaceful, credible, inclusive and transparent elections.”
Moyo said after the signing of the memorandum that the government, “desire to have transparency in the election process (by) inviting different international observers so that they can come and observe our elections… and observe democracy in action.”
Photo Credit- The Zimbabwe Mail