The European Union has taken steps to suspend its $ 5 million USD financial support to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission over transparency concerns after the latter received negative reviews from Elections Observer Missions on the manner in which it conducted the just ended elections.
In a statement, E.U revealed that it has since started the process of withdrawing the funds which they donated to improve the technological and logistical aspects of ZEC’s operations during the election period.
The decision was reached after the E.U got complaints from various IOM’s, Particularly the SADC Election Observation Mission which had reservations on the manner in which the elections were carried out.
“The 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,” reads the statement.
To EU said they would resume funding ZEC once every complaint has been investigated.
“There are intentions of restoring the funding once all the complaints are properly investigated and are found to not be true.
“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 bringing such processes closer to the regional and international standards that Zimbabwe has signed, “ Reads the statement.
Zec was set to get funds from E.U until December 2024.