European Union (EU) has extended the two remaining sanctions measures against Zimbabwe and welcomed a planned invitation to observe this year’s crunch elections but expressed concern over the lack of Motlanthe Commission progress.
In a statement Tuesday the EU’s High Representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell said the block “welcomes the intention of Zimbabwe’s President to extend an invitation to the EU to deploy an Electoral Observation Mission for the 2023 Elections once constitutional processes have been finalised.
“The EU follows closely the process leading up to the elections, which are of great importance to the trajectory of the country. The EU encourages all electoral stakeholders, state and non-state alike, to play their role in ensuring the organisation of a credible and peaceful electoral process.”
He added; “the EU Election Observation Mission of 2018 provided a set of recommendations and encourages actors to continue improving the electoral framework to allow for credible, inclusive and transparent elections.
The EU welcomes the recent launch of the dialogue platform related to the arrears clearance and debt resolution process and looks forward to tangible progress in this process.
Furthermore the EU welcomes Zimbabwe’s engagement on the Universal Periodic
Review process, the alignment of legislation with the 2013 Constitution, the enactment of the Independent Complaints Commission Act, the new Marriages Act and the High-Level Political Compact on gender-based violence. Other developments are of concern from a democratic and civic space perspective.
These include the Data Protection Act and, if enacted, bills such as the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill and the envisaged “patriotic provisions” in the Criminal Law Amendment Bill.
The EU also maintains its concerns that the recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry have not been followed substantially and the perpetrators of violations which occurred in August 2018 and January 2019 are to date still enjoying impunity from prosecution. It is important that international human rights obligations are adhered to and the constitutional rights of the people of Zimbabwe respected.