European Union In Impala Car Hiring Storm
28 July 2023
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By A Correspondent| The European Union Election Observer Mission to Zimbabwe (EUEOM) has hired over 65 cars from Impala Car Rental – a company that has been linked to the abduction and torture of several Zimbabwean citizens – this publication can exclusively reveal.

In July 2020, Tawanda Muchehiwa, a trainee journalist, was abducted by suspected state agents in Bulawayo and CCTV footage showed that the abductors used a vehicle hired from Impala Car Rental.

Muchehiwa was later found dumped near his home, severely injured.

In the wake of Muchehiwa’s abduction, the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) staged a series of protests at Impala Car Rental offices, demanding answers about the company’s role in the abduction.

ZINASU president Takudzwa Ngadziore was subsequently arrested and detained for leading the protests.

Despite these allegations, the EUEOM has chosen to hire cars from Impala Car Rental in a development that has raised serious questions about the EUEOM’s commitment to human rights and its impartiality.

Some human rights activists who spoke to this publication criticized EU’s double standards with reference to the body’s stance on Russian gas and oil.

“It is deplorable that the European Union (EU) is sponsoring a company that is known for infringing on human rights.

“The EU has put a red tape on Russian oil and gas because of its invasion of Ukraine, but it seems that the EU is willing to shift its goal posts when it comes to Africa,” human rights activist Pride Mukono told this publication.

The cars are to be used by observers working across all of Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces

According to the mission’s Deputy Chief Observer, Dr. Beata Martin-Rozumiłowicz, “in the course of their duty, EU observers will meet local electoral officials, candidates and  representatives from political parties, as well as civil society and the media.

“They will be impartial and they will not interfere in the electoral process in the course of their work. They will only use firsthand and verified observation in their reporting.”

Efforts to get a comment from  Impala were fruitless.