Zimbabwe election chaos: Mnangagwa government’s request to SADC sends sh0ckwaves

SADC mission head Nevers Mumba

GOVERNMENT has told the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) to alter its preliminary election observer mission report by removing parts that tainted President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s electoral victory.

Acting foreign affairs minister Amon Murwira told ambassadors from the Sadc region that the report presented by head of the observer mission Nevers Mumba was a threat to the territorial integrity of Zimbabwe and a departure from Sadc rules and guidelines and should, therefore, be edited before the final report is delivered.

“It is our understanding that Sadc respects the sovereignty of member States and that SEOM as its subsidiary operates within the confines of the Constitutions and laws of member States, which are passed by sovereign Parliaments. We don’t believe it is in the remit of SEOM to question or interfere with member States Constitutions, laws, and court decisions passed by their sovereign democratic institutions,” Murwira said.

Mnangagwa’s government took exception to the report which poked holes into the conduct of Zec around its 2022 delimitation report and the unconstitutional ejection of Saviour Kasukuwere from the presidential race.

“Statements such as the ‘delimitation was a flawed and unconstitutionally executed process, that Kasukuwere’s disqualification was unconstitutional’, are most unhelpful. The Kasukuwere case was concluded by a Constitutional Court judgment. This also includes unhelpful comments that the so-called ‘Patriot Bill’ was unconstitutional as it attacks the freedom of speech. Such statements, intentionally or unintentionally, cast aspersions on the integrity of Zimbabwe’s public institutions and create doubt in the populace,” said Murwira as the government pushes to legitimise polls shamed by most of the observers, except India and Palestine.

In a diplomatic, but firm statement, read to ambassadors from Zambia, Angola, Botswana and Tanzania who attended the briefing, Mnangagwa’s minister asked Sadc to change these statements in the final report without saying what they would do if no action is taken.

“Zimbabwe has full confidence that the errors cited in the SEOM report will be corrected with the view of ensuring the intended beneficial contribution to strengthening the electoral processes of member States, including Zimbabwe,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF said it no longer had issues with the Sadc report and would ignore the areas which it disagreed with, now that results have been announced.

“We take a cafeteria approach the Sadc report, we will take the positives in the report and leave those that we think are bad, we only had issue with it before the results were announced because the report had the effect of threatening law and security of the country,” Zanu PF spokesperson Chris Mutsvangwa said at a different Press conference.

Mnangagwa’s chief election agent, Ziyambi Ziyambi, said Sadc Heads of State would deal with Mumba’s report.

— NewsDay

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