EU-EOM denies bribing journalists, straying from mandate

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) has denied allegations that it is bribing local journalists to write negatively about the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe.

The state-controlled media has claimed that the EU-EOM has been giving whiskeys, grocery vouchers, fuel coupons, and other handouts to select journalists in the country.

The observer team has also been accused of straying from its mandate and interfering in the election process.

In a statement, EU-EOM Chief Observer Fabio Massimo Castaldo said the allegations are “defamatory and malicious” and “entirely fabricated.”

“The EU EOM and its observers do not engage in inappropriate activities, nor does the EU EOM interfere in the process,” Castaldo said. “The EU EOM adheres to a strict code of conduct.”

Castaldo added that the allegations are “blatant disinformation” and are meant to “undermine the EU EOM and credible election observation.”

The government of Zimbabwe has warned observer missions accredited to observe the polls to stick to their mandate.

The EU-EOM is a team of independent experts who are deployed to observe elections around the world. The mission’s mandate is to assess the electoral process and to make recommendations for improving the quality of elections.

The upcoming elections in Zimbabwe are scheduled to take place on August 23, 2023.

The polls are expected to be closely contested between the ruling Zanu-PF party and the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

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