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40 EU observers to leave Zimbabwe in wake of disputed election

The bloc says a core team will remain in the country to monitor the situation in the wake of last week’s disputed presidential election.

FILE: Voting day in Zimbabwe's harmonised elections of 30 July 2018. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

HARARE - A day after Zimbabwe’s opposition alliance filed its challenge to Emmerson Mnangagwa’s win in elections in July, the European Union (EU) observer mission has announced that 40 members of its team will fly back home on Sunday.

The bloc says a core team will remain in the country to monitor the situation in the wake of last week’s disputed presidential election.

Mnangagwa’s inauguration on Sunday now, of course, won’t go ahead as planned.

With the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance filing its court case right on deadline, the future for Zimbabwe still looks far from certain.

LISTEN: What’s next for Zimbabwe’s opposition after elections?

The EU observer mission has been at pains to insist that this departure of 40 team members doesn’t mean everyone’s gone.

There will still be a core EU team to monitor the election petitions in the urgent, and no doubt fiercely fought, court days ahead.

This was the first time in 15 years EU observers had been allowed into Zimbabwe to observe an election which was peaceful on polling day but marred by violence afterwards.

Warning graphic visuals

VIDEO: Zimbabwe army uses live rounds against protesters

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)