Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa’s victory convinces observers

by admin-anb
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The European Union (EU) Electoral Observation Mission for last August’s presidential elections in Zimbabwe presented the final report yesterday, which admits restrictions on fundamental rights in voting, without however mentioning whether they influence the result in favor of President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa.

On 26 August, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced the victory of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, with 52.6% of the votes counted, while the leader of the main opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Nelson Chamisa came in second place, with 44% of the votes. Chamisa rejected the results at the time, claiming that the official data did not coincide with his party’s count.

The elections took place on August 23 and 24, after a campaign marked by attacks on party rallies and exchanges of accusations between competitors, according to organizations such as Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW).

“Although election day was calm, it was described as disorderly,” said the head of the mission, Italian MEP Fábio Massimo Castaldo, during the presentation of the report at an online press conference, according to Western media.

“In general, the process restricted fundamental rights and lacked a level playing field, which was worsened by intimidation,” said Castaldo, who also censored the media and the detention of citizens. On the matter, the Zimbabwe Police justified that the arrests took place to maintain order and tranquility during the voting process, which international observers recognized as having taken place normally, said a source from the Ministry of the Interior, cited in the country’s press.

“We are victims of defamation campaigns and this one was particularly harsh. The government-controlled media outlets told unacceptable and false lies and made very unpleasant accusations about the integrity of our observers,” said the head of the mission. The Italian MEP insisted that it was the Government of Zimbabwe that invited the EU to observe these elections, but that, “unfortunately, the conditions of this mission presented great challenges”.

However, the European Union listed 21 recommendations to the Government in the report, adding that “comprehensive electoral reform is necessary so that legislation is in line with Zimbabwe’s regional and international standards”.

Crisis in the Banking sector

The Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU) said yesterday that 75% of jobs in the sector have been lost since the beginning of the millennium. This decline is attributed to a combination of accelerated digitalization and sociopolitical challenges that the country has faced over the last two decades.

Speaking to NewZimbabwe on the results of a high-level convention that brought together workers from the country’s banking sector, trade unionist Peter Mutasa expressed concern about the decline in the workforce.

He added: “The congress coincided with extremely difficult operating conditions, which restricted our ability to effectively serve our members. The economy, which has been in stagnation for decades, has had a significant impact on trade unionism.”

Mutasa highlighted the decline in membership, from a peak of 12,000 in the late 1990s to approximately 3,000 today. He pointed to significant transformations in the Banking sector, such as digitalization and automation, as the main culprits.

The trade unionist noted that high unemployment negatively affected collective bargaining, with traditional methods such as strikes becoming less effective. Mutasa criticized the restrictive nature of labor laws, further complicated by a toxic political environment in which the Government views all unions with suspicion, treating them as enemies of the State.

Jornal de Angola

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