Tendai Gukutikwa Post Correspondent
Part of the 44 member team of European Union Election Observers Mission that arrived in the country on June 19 has been deployed in Manicaland.
The observers were deployed to all 10 provinces in the country and the provincial observers will observe the electoral process in their respective areas before reporting back to their core team in Harare.
Another group of 44 short-term observers is set to arrive in the country and join the mission shortly before the election day, on July 30.
This comes after the EU was invited to deploy an EOM to observe the elections by the Government.
The European Union Election Observation Mission to Zimbabwe (EU-EOM) is led by chief observer Mr Elmar Brok, a member of the European Parliament from Germany.
Mr Brok said the core mission was to observe voting, counting and the tabulation of results. The delegation would also be joined by a delegation of seven members of the European Parliament, as well as diplomatic staff from embassies accredited to Harare.
“The mission’s mandate is to observe all aspects of the electoral process and assess the extent to which the elections comply with international and regional commitments for elections, as well as with the country’s laws.
“The mission observes and assesses the legal framework and its implementation, the work of the election administration, campaign activities, the role of state institutions and civil society, the conduct of the media, voting, counting and tabulation. It further observes the environment in which the election is being conducted and the complaints and appeal process,” he said.
Mr Brok further stated that his team had an established methodology for observing elections. Observers cannot interfere in the electoral process and have no authority to change or correct any shortcomings.
“The team’s main objectives are to support the democratic process in partner countries, to enhance public confidence in the electoral process and to strengthen respect for human rights and the rule of law.
“The EU EOM will publish a preliminary statement shortly after the Election Day and a final report, including recommendations, after the end of the entire electoral process,” explained Mr Brok.
He also said the EOM is independent from the EU delegation to Zimbabwe, EU member States and all EU institutions.
In total, the mission is expected to comprise of more than 140 observers from all EU member states as well as Canada, Norway and Switzerland.
Prior to the arrival of the long-term observers, a 10 person core team had arrived in the country on June 6. The duty of the core team was and still is to analyze political, electoral and legal issues related to the electoral process.