EU top official Philippe Van Damme meets VP Chiwenga over 2018 elections


A senior member of European Union (EU), which has been invited to observe the forthcoming harmonised elections, yesterday met Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to work on the modalities of how the foreign missions will operate.

EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Philippe Van Damme paid a courtesy call on VP Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa offices yesterday where they held talks on a number of wide-ranging issues.

The two parties discussed the electoral processes, the need for international observers, including modalities of how the foreign observer missions would operate.

“We discussed a wide range of economic issues,” said Mr Van Damme. “The Government wants to accelerate economic re-engagement with international institutions.

“Government reconfirmed that the EU has been invited for an electoral observer mission and that we have discussed how to prepare the mission, which will come for the exploratory phase.

“We also discussed on how to organise these electoral observation missions; so it was a constructive discussion on a wide range of issues.”

There were also discussions on the land issue.

Mr Van Damme said the Government’s reform programme had attracted a lot of interest from the international community.

“We have had plenty of missions coming in,” he said. “We just had an investment bank mission this week meeting with authorities and the private sector, and there is quite a lot of interest.

“People do not make investment decisions from one to the other, but for the reassurances they have to wait for the legal framework to be completely worked out and the reassurances which have been given are being translated into effective measures on the ground. So it may take some time.”

After the political transition that took place in November last year, the EU reaffirmed its commitment to work with Zimbabwe.

The bloc also hailed President Mnangagwa’s efforts to revive the economy.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold harmonised elections in the next four to five months.

President Mnangagwa has on several occasions assured the nation, region and international community that the forthcoming harmonised polls will embrace the tenets of democracy, fair play and standards set by SADC.

– Herald

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