Monday 21 August 2023


THE SEEMINGLY angry President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he does not care if the Wednesday elections are deemed not free and fair by Western countries.

Mnangagwa’s utterances come as the polls are increasingly failing the credibility test in the wake of a litany of intimidation, violence and “dirty” tactics allegations levelled against the ruling Zanu PF party.

Speaking during a rally in Shurugwi on Saturday, Mnangagwa said no one had the right to ask if the elections were free and fair.

“No one should come and tell us, ‘Are your elections free, fair and transparent?’ Nonsense!” Mnangagwa said.

Mnangagwa said no country should teach Zimbabwe about democracy.

“I want to make this clear; no one is qualified to teach us democracy. We were never given our democracy on a silver platter, we spent 16 solid years of an armed struggle for us to become independent.

“No one should assume any role to teach us democracy, we fought for it. We acquired it ourselves. It’s us who have the right to talk about democracy because we fought for it; we have the right to talk about independence because we fought for it, and about sovereignty because we fought for it,” Mnangagwa said.

“This was our main goal, many of our brothers and sisters perished for it. It is us who want free and fair elections, we are not doing this to please anybody, and we want it ourselves.”

Mnangagwa invited observers from the United States and the European Union, but they have been treated with suspicion in government corridors since their arrival.

On Friday, Information secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana released a statement after a government-controlled daily paper wrote a story alleging that European Union election observers had bribed journalists in the Midlands province.

“His Excellency was clear that an invitation to observe was not an invitation to interfere and no foreign power is a stakeholder in Zimbabwe’s electoral processes. The government will not hesitate to take stern action against any foreign observers who have chosen to break convention and dabble in the election processes of our country. For the particular transgression raised in this statement, the government will take appropriate action,” Mangwana said.

However, the European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM) dismissed media reports that it was funding local journalists to discredit the August 23 elections, saying it was a fabrication.

In a statement, EU EOM Chief Observer Fabio Massimo Castaldo said the report was “defamatory” as the allegations were “unfounded”. Newsday


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