Zimbabwe planning to ban US election observers citing interference
The Zimbabwean government has summoned the United States’ deputy ambassador in Harare to protest what it calls the embassy’s “diplomatic indiscretion” following its tweet urging Zimbabweans to “register to vote and make sure your voice is heard.”
With Zimbabwe due to hold harmonised general elections in August this year, the US Embassy posted a tweet urging Zimbabweans to register to vote. Consequently, the State Media accused the western country of meddling in Zimbabwe’s domestic affairs.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba on Tuesday morning went on to state that the US had breached the Vienna Convention adding that the meeting would see US observers blocked from covering elections.
“Today, the Zimbabwe government will summon the US Chargé D’affaires for his mission’s act of diplomatic indiscretion over its advertisement which meddles in Zimbabwe’s electoral politics, contrary to the Vienna Convention.
“Matters could come to a head, including disallowing American observer teams,” Charamba said.
Elaine M. French is the US embassy’s Chargé D’affaires, holding station for new ambassador Pamela Tremont who is yet to assume charge.
Former cabinet Minister Jonathan Moyo also slammed the US for allegedly overstepping boundaries by encouraging Zimbabweans to vote. He said the move was tantamount to participating in elections of another country.
“It has to be said in the strongest terms for the umpteenth time that, as accredited foreign missions, the US Embassy and other embassies, can observe domestic politics – like elections – subject to the country’s laws but they cannot participate in domestic politics.
“There is absolutely nothing in their Credentials, in the Electoral Act nor in any other national law nor the Vienna Convention that gives them any right to participate in domestic politics in whatever shape or form.
“It’s a big no.
“This position is reciprocal, the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Washington DC can observe US domestic political processes subject to the laws of that country but it cannot participate in those processes,” Moyo added