President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned foreign observer missions that have been accredited for the August 23 harmonised elections not to interfere with the country’s electoral process and advised them to stick to their lane.
Addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters at Tongogara Business Center in Shurugwi North Constituency on Saturday, he said Zimbabweans are a peace – loving people and would never want to see violence taking place anywhere.
He warned the observer missions in the country to concentrate on their work.
“It is us who want free elections, fair and transparent elections. We have nothing to hide. We have invited 45 countries, 17 continental regional bodies, as well as embassies and consulates. In particular, we have invited every single member of our SADC body.
“We are saying we have invited observers from SADC, from the continent and from beyond. However these observers should not come to observe these elections with foregone conclusions pretending to teach us democracy because it is us not any other organization that can teach us on how to conduct a peaceful election. I call upon the observer missions to keep to their terms of reference in the code o conduct of thei work.
“I am saying, observers, please come with an open mind, we are a peaceful people. I am aware of two individuals who came to Zimbabwe thinking thry can teach us. Those who come to teach, come when we invite you and if you have better ideas.
” I am happy that all our political parties that are contesting in the current election have adhered to peaceful electoral processes and I am also happy that so far, almost everybody has promised no violence, this is what it should be. However, we as Zanu-PF party, are at the forefront of preaching peace and condemning violence, “he said.
He urged election observers to give the country it’s due respect advising Zimbabwean citizens to remain vigilant against promoting and causing political anarchy in their communities.
“If you go to that tent, you will find comrades there, some are maimed because of our war for independence. So, give us due respect as a people.
” I warn those who want to destabilize this nation and promote violence that we will not tolerate any of that. The law will take its course against those hooligans.
” I want to urge you, the people of Midlands to remain vigilant and shame those detractors who wish us to be violent, who wish chaos in this country.
“Let us shame them by being peaceful. Let us shame them by being non-violent.
” Let us shame them by accepting them in spite of them wanting Zanu-PF to rule. However, the Lord above knows that.
“No one, no country, especially those beyond our region, should ever teach us democracy,” he said.
The ruling party leader’s call comes at a time when the European Union (EU) Election Observer Mission refuted claims of interference and improper conduct which was published by a local newspaper a few days ago.
In a statement, the European Union’s Chief Observer mission Fabio Massimo Castaldo said the allegations were fabricated and aimed to discredit the mission.
“The EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) is astounded by the defamatory and malicious accusations made in an article, published in local Zimbabwean media yesterday. These allegations are based on unsubstantiated rumors and entirely fabricated.
“The EU EOM and its observers do not engage in inappropriate activities, nor does the EU EOM interfere in the process. The EU EOM adheres to a strict code of conduct.
“The EU EOM has taken note of previous unacceptable attempts to discredit the mission. The EU EOM sees these articles as blatant disinformation to the Zimbabwean public,” said Castaldo.
He added that the article reflected a continued onslaught on the EU EOM observers.