Friday, February 27, 2004

Zimbabwe: withdraws request for UN election funding aid

Hmm ...
Zimbabwe has withdrawn a request to the U.N. for help funding next year's parliamentary elections, U.N. officials said Friday, renewing concerns about whether the vote will be free and fair.

A small U.N. assessment team had been planning to visit Zimbabwe on March 3-13, spurring hopes of reform after reports of vote rigging and intimidation during previous polls.

But the visit was called off after Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa informed the U.N. earlier this month that its assistance was no longer required, U.N. officials said on condition of anonymity.

In a letter to the U.N. chief representative in Zimbabwe, Victor Angelo, Chinamasa said government revenues had improved and it no longer needed help paying for the vote, the officials said.