EU to cut funding to Zesn over positive report on Zimbabwe election?

EU to cut funding to Zesn over positive report on Zimbabwe election?
Published: 17 August 2018 (365 Views)
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn), an independent electoral watchdog, has been under tremendous pressure from European Union (EU) donors, particularly Britain, to doctor and alter its reports on the country's electoral process and elections, the Zimbabwe Independent can reveal.

Sources within the donor community say throughout Zimbabwe's electoral cycle, Zesn was forced to change the biometric voter registration (BVR) report. The report was commissioned to undertake an audit of BVR as well as election outcome findings.

The electoral watchdog received funding from Western donors to conduct civic and voter education, as well as deploy 6 500 observers to every ward, constituency, district and province, throughout the country.

Zesn deployed 2 012 observers to keep an eye on the BVR process. In addition, Zesn also deployed long-term observers (LTOs) in all 210 constituencies to observe key electoral processes in the run-up to the elections such as inspection of the provisional voters' roll, nomination court processes, campaigns and the general pre-election environment.

Zesn reports were largely positive and passed glowing remarks on how the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) had administered what was described as a relatively credible poll. Zesn's poll forecasts were also not off the mark from the final results announced by Zec.

Contacted last night, Zesn programmes co-ordinator Ellen Dingane told the Independent she could not comment on the matter and referred all questions to the organisation's chairperson Andrew Makoni who was not immediately available.

Lawyers representing President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa in a Constitutional Court (ConCourt) petition in which opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa is challenging the poll outcome, are using excerpts from Zesn's reports as exhibits that last month's election was smooth and hence free, fair and credible.

In his opposing papers filed at the ConCourt, Mnangagwa, using Zesn reports, argues that Chamisa's claims that 21% of polling stations around the country had no V11 forms were baseless.

"The applicant is challenging the results of an election conducted on 30 July 2018. What has allegedly happened to his agents after that date is irrelevant to this application.

"In fact, as confirmed by Zesn (annexure 'CC') it is applicant and his political party that did not have polling agents at all polling stations," Mnangagwa says.

Zec, in its opposing papers filed at the ConCourt, also cites reports from Zesn extensively to water down claims of electoral fraud raised by Chamisa.

"If one considers sampling that was being done during the conduct of the 2018 general election by the largest election observer group on the ground, Zesn, their report shows consistency with the results declared for the presidential election by the electoral commission," Zec says.

Zesn received a substantial amount of money to roll out various electoral supervisory activities under the instruction of Western donors, especially Britain.

However, their reports and findings have been sanitised and altered due to pressure, while its narrative has been tailored to suit the agenda of its donors in Zimbabwe who support Mnangagwa, especially Britain.

Shortly after announcement of the poll outcome, Zesn released a statement suggesting that 21% of polling station V11 forms were missing. The independent electoral watchdog, however, quickly withdrew that statement under pressure from donors.

"Zesn have just produced a report which states that in 21% of polling stations no V11 form was posted outside with the presidential results on it as required by Section 64(1) of the Electoral Act," said former legislator David Coltart through micro-blogging site Twitter.

Britain, whose ambassador Catriona Laing is a known Mnangagwa cheerleader, has been trying to sanitise last year's military coup that toppled former president Robert Mugabe, while warming up to Mnangagwa's new administration. When election results came out, Zesn's poll prediction closely resembled the actual vote result announced by Zec. This week, Zesn sought to pre-empt criticism and exposure through an op-ed published in this week's edition of the Independent, acknowledging that its earlier announcement on the credibility of the just-ended poll had torched a storm of controversy.

- the independent

Tags: Zesn, Funding, Zimbabwe,
 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Mangudya walks out of meeting with Mthuli Ncube

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 332 Views

BREAKING: Prof. Calistus Ndlovu declared National Hero

by Mandla Ndlovu | 15 February 2019 | 181 Views

Mnangagwa attends Zimbabwe International Research Symposium

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 170 Views

Mines tragedy declared national disaster

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 195 Views

Zimbabwe now facing condom crisis

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 204 Views

Zimbabwe looks to tackle telecom fraud with technology

by Agencies | 15 February 2019 | 115 Views

Joshua Nkomo was a dictator?

by Mandla Ndlovu | 15 February 2019 | 163 Views

Re-colonising Zimbabwe will not work

by Gift Mashoko | 15 February 2019 | 127 Views

Chamisa saddened by Battlefields mine tragedy

by ZimLive | 15 February 2019 | 131 Views

Tsvangirai was duped by Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 184 Views

2 300 ZUPCO buses offered to Zimbabwe

by Mandla Ndlovu | 15 February 2019 | 159 Views

Zanu-PF a sanctuary for thieves

by AT Kadada | 15 February 2019 | 142 Views

The Mnangagwa regime

by Louisa Brooke-Holland | 15 February 2019 | 158 Views

Banks plunge into fresh crisis

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 170 Views

Ex-MDC MP faces jail over bank loan

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 135 Views

Human Rights petitions AU over Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 122 Views

'Is Mnangagwa's govt pro-poor or Queen B?'

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 154 Views

Jilted man demands sex or $1 000

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 131 Views

Number plates shortage: Cops harass motorists

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 126 Views

Calls for Zimbabwe to join Rand Monetary Union grow

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 100 Views

Prophet Magaya and wife did not pay tax on mega salaries

by ZimLive | 15 February 2019 | 110 Views

US cannot be our national dialogue referee

by Christine Lethokuhle Mabhena | 15 February 2019 | 202 Views

The EU Parliament resolutions on Zimbabwe read like Chamisa's script

by Brightface Mutema | 15 February 2019 | 213 Views

Botswana NGOs condemns Zim army for killings

by Mandla Ndlovu | 15 February 2019 | 112 Views

Government committed to implementing reforms

by Gift Mashoko | 15 February 2019 | 198 Views

ZCLDN holds drug masterplan roundtable

by ZCLDN | 15 February 2019 | 101 Views

PHOTOS: Wicknell Chivayo visits Mtukudzi's grave

by Mandla Ndlovu | 15 February 2019 | 187 Views

Zimbabwe not yet ready for national dialogue

by Terence Simbi | 15 February 2019 | 178 Views

'Investor interest in 2nd Zimbabwe fuel pipeline grows'

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 142 Views

RioZim resumes operations

by Ndou Paul | 15 February 2019 | 143 Views

Fears of imminent maize meal price increases

by GMAZ | 15 February 2019 | 140 Views

Zimbabwe looks to tackle telecom fraud with technology

by Global Voice Group (GVG) | 15 February 2019 | 133 Views

Advocate Jacob Mudenda offside

by Kucaca Phulu | 15 February 2019 | 160 Views

Government silence on battlefields disaster a disgrace

by Jacob Mafume | 15 February 2019 | 118 Views

Haru Mutasa denied UK Visa

by Staff reporter | 15 February 2019 | 144 Views

Chamisa to bring everyone to Harare for a Mother of All Demonstrations

by Staff reportet | 15 February 2019 | 219 Views