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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
unmoved by Zim's objections
Kudzai Mashininga, Mail and Guardian (SA)
October 11, 2013
last week that it was limiting diplomatic ties with the West by
putting a stop to its re-engagement policy until Western countries
lifted sanctions, has done little to move the European Union (EU)
from its position.
The EU, the
United States, Britain and other Western countries have kept the
sanctions in place, saying the recent
electoral outcome did not reflect the will of the people.
It sparked severe
criticism from President Robert Mugabe, who said they had no right
to go against the African Union (AU) and the Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC), who endorsed the poll.
has now grown into a bigger diplomatic tiff, with the declaration
by Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi that Zimbabwe
was "fed up with the West's lack of sincerity".
He said Zimbabwe
was not happy about the West's intransigence and lack of objectivity
as shown by its refusal to endorse the July 31 polls, which were
endorsed by the "rest of the world".
may only further exacerbate the diplomatic stand-off.
attacks US and Britain
At the 68th
session of the United Nations General Assembly last month, Mugabe
attacked the United States and Britain, calling them "shameless".
Harare summoned the EU head of delegation to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell'Ariccia,
for seeking a meeting with Electoral and Constitutional Court judges.
wrote a letter, dated August 29 2013, to the chief registrar of
the supreme court, Walter Chikwana, requesting a meeting with the
judges to "exchange views on electoral petitions".
But the government
took exception to Dell'Ariccia's move and said he had overstepped
his diplomatic mandate. He was summoned by the foreign affairs ministry.
Then this week,
another summoning took place. The US ambassador, Bruce Wharton,
was called in to give an explanation concerning the "humiliation"
suffered by Mumbengegwi in New York.
office says he was denied diplomatic privileges that exempt foreign
dignitaries from rigorous airport searches on his return from the
told the Mail & Guardian this week that the EU had not changed
its position on Zimbabwe.
He said the
EU was still waiting for final reports from the SADC and AU observer
missions before deciding whether or not to "normalise"
relations with country.
But he refused
to comment on Mumbengegwi's declaration that the country was no
longer engaging them.
still in a situation where we haven't taken a decision because there
are some elements missing for us to take a final decision. We are
waiting for the final reports of the regional African observer missions,
because, as you are aware, the AU and SADC have not released their
final reports," Dell'Ariccia said.
waiting to see their recommendations to make sure the next elections
are free, fair and credible, because, in their preliminary reports,
they highlighted a number of shortcomings. Our position, therefore,
remains the same."
the EU has been sticking to measures taken against Zimbabwe under
the Cotonou Agreement, which suspended the EU's direct aid to the
government, although humanitarian aid has continued through civil
the bloc said, were in response to violations of human rights, democratic
principles and the rule of law by government.
said the EU had, in July last year, suspended the application of
article 96 of the agreement and was working at a technical level
to see how the two parties could start co-operation in future.
This, if successful,
means Zimbabwe could benefit from the 11th European Development
Fund which supports development programmes in Africa, the Caribbean
and Pacific countries.
said the EU's ultimate goal was to normalise relations with Zimbabwe
but the decision would have to unanimous. The EU would have to be
satisfied that the country was taking steps in the right direction.
direct aid to Zimbabwe, Dell'Ariccia said the EU and its member
states had spent more than $2-billion since 2009 on humanitarian
assistance in areas such as education, water and sanitation and
Before the elections,
the EU said it would be guided by SADC's verdict. Both the EU and
Britain said they were willing to work with whoever won a free,
fair and credible election.
But SADC and
the AU refrained from fully endorsing the polls and voiced concern
about the high numbers of voters turned away, the late publication
of the final list of polling stations, the high numbers of assisted
voters and the last-minute availability of the voters' roll.
It was made
public only two days before the elections, "rather late for
meaningful inspection and verification by voters, parties and candidates",
according to the AU.
They still described
the elections as free and peaceful but refrained from calling them
"fair and credible". The EU said its concerns are enough
to cast doubt on the credibility of the polls.
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