European and United States of America observers will not be allowed to monitor electoral processes in Zimbabwe as long as illegal sanctions they imposed on the country are in place, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi has said.
In an interview after meeting Swedish International Development Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson in Harare this morning, Minister Mumbengegwi said Zimbabwe would only allow observers from Sadc, Comesa, African Union and other countries that were not hostile to it.
"One cannot observe anything in a country that he is hostile to," he said.
"The level of hostility is measured by the relationship those countries have with Zimbabwe and clearly those countries that have imposed sanctions on us will not be here.
"To be an observer you have to be objective and once you impose sanctions on one party your objectivity goes up in smoke. If you are not objective you are not entitled to observe any elections and that is the situation with those Western countries."
He said countries that have never invited Zimbabwe to observe their elections would also not be invited.
"I do not see why they need to be invited when they have never invited us to monitor theirs (elections)," he said.
"Of course Sadc, Comesa and the AU will be here and also those countries that are friendly to us."
Minister Mumbengegwi said observers to monitor the March 16 referendum had already been invited.
"Those coming already know and as for the elections we will only invite them once we have an exact date."
Turning to his meeting with Minister Carlsson, Minister Mumbengegwi said Zimbabweans were against the idea of EU suspending the embargo but wanted them to be removed unconditionally.
The EU, which met last month to review sanctions on Zimbabwe, has said that it would suspend most sanctions against the country if it holds a credible referendum on the new constitution.
"We have taken a position that sanctions should go without any condition and the idea of suspending sanctions is not acceptable to the people of Zimbabwe," he said.
"We have done nothing wrong and this is an issue where we differ. They are talking of suspension and I do not even know what suspended sanctions look like."