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Mnangagwa regime not bothered by EU withdrawing US$5m funding for ZEC

The Government of Zimbabwe has claimed that the decision by the European Union (EU) to withdraw US$5 million support for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will not strain the organisation because it is fully funded by the State.

The EU on Tuesday announced that it had withdrawn its three-year financial support citing that ZEC failed to provide a transparent election during the recently held harmonised general election in which incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa won with 52,6%.

In a statement, information Minister Jenfan Muswere said ZEC is fully funded by the State hence it will not be affected by the withdrawal of the EU support.

“The Government has always maintained the mantra as espoused by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa that Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none, which is also in line with our policy thrust of re-engagement and engagement with all the nations and institutions of the world,” said Muswere.

“We remain fully committed to working with the various institutions and funding partners, including the European Union.

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“The ZEC is fully funded by the State through the Consolidated Revenue Fund managed by the National Treasury but the Government has also always welcomed other donor partners whose help is to assist in capacity building and strengthening State institutions.”

In a statement announcing their decision to hold back the fund, the EU stated that that the plebiscite was marred by irregularities and the independence of ZEC was compromised.

“The recent preliminary statements from multiple EOMs, including the EU EOM, have raised concerns about ZEC’s management of the electoral process, particularly regarding its independence and transparency.

“The EU contributes together with other donors to a UNDP-managed project aiming at enhancing ZEC’s institutional and technical capabilities to fulfil its constitutional mandate.

“In response to these concerns and in adherence to responsible management of EU development cooperation funds, the EU has initiated a procedure to suspend its contribution to this project.

“The EU firmly underscores the critical importance of electoral management bodies serving as independent and transparent institutions in fulfilling their mandates to deliver credible and inclusive electoral processes that enjoy the trust of citizens.

“The EU remains open to the possibility of resuming its contribution to support efforts aiming at strengthening the electoral processes and bring such processes closer to the regional and international standards that Zimbabwe has signed,” read the statement.