EU suspends funding for ZEC over concerns of independence and transparency
HARARE – The European Union (EU) has informed the Ministry of Finance and Investment Promotion and the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) of its decision to suspend its 5 million USD support for ZEC.
The EU-funded project, managed by UNDP and due to end in December 2024, aims to strengthen ZEC’s institutional and technical capacity to conduct credible and inclusive elections. However, several international Electoral Observation Missions (EOMs), including the EU EOM, have expressed doubts about ZEC’s independence and transparency in the 2023 harmonised elections.
The EU said it has initiated a procedure to suspend its contribution to the project, in line with its responsible management of development cooperation funds. The EU emphasises the vital role of electoral management bodies as independent and transparent institutions that can deliver electoral processes that earn the trust of citizens. The EU is open to resuming its support if ZEC makes efforts to align its electoral processes with the regional and international standards that Zimbabwe has signed.
The EU further said it will keep monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe and reaffirms its commitment to work with the government, independent commissions, civil society, and other stakeholders to promote democracy, human rights and rule of law.
The EU’s total contribution is 4.7 million USD, of which approximately 1 million Euros have been spent.