THE Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has dismissed Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) claims that it was collaborating with Team Pachedu to collate and tabulate August election results with a view of announcing them prematurely.
The ZHRC in its election report alleged that Zesn has been working with Team Pachedu to destabilise peace in the country.
“Zesn would like to categorically state that it does not and has never worked closely or collaborated with Team Pachedu to collate and tabulate results,” reads the Zesn statement issued yesterday.
On election day, armed police stormed Zesn offices in Harare, arresting 40 election monitors and further seized computers and other related election material that was being used by the poll watchdog to follow the election.
The arrested comprised a team that was working under Zesn and the Election Resources Centre (ERC) to monitor and give updates on election proceedings.
Zesn said Team Pachedu was not part of their team during their voter tabulation.
“Additionally, addressing a Press conference in Harare on 24 August 2023, Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest of the ERC and ZESN staff and not Team Pachedu, a sure sign that the latter was never a part of the observation team working on independently verifying results.”
Zesn maintained that their election observation team was purely inspired by the need to assess whether the elections followed the laws of the land in accordance with regional and international standards.
“Zesn strongly believes that election observation is imperative in the gathering of information regarding an electoral process, to assess whether the elections are conducted in accordance with the laws of the country, regional or international principles, standards and best practices.
“Zesn employs three kinds of election observation methodologies to gather information and provide an impartial and accurate appraisal of the electoral environment and recommendations for improving electoral processes.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa was re-elected for a second and last time in an election that was criticised by numerous election observer missions as not credible.
Observer missions said the polls did not meet local, regional and international standards on the holding of free and fair elections.