CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has dispatched a delegation to neighbouring countries to elicit the support of Southern African Development Community (Sadc) leaders in his push for fresh elections in Zimbabwe.
Chamisa has refused to accept defeat after President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared winner of the presidential election held on August 23 and 24.
He wants a fresh election supervised by the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).
A Sadc election observer mission preliminary report questioned the credibility of the polls and elicited an angry response from Zanu PF in the process.
Zanu PF has singled out Sadc observer mission head Nevers Mumba for attack as it accuses him of bias.
CCC spokesperson Promise Mkhwananzi told The Standard yesterday that the party’s diplomatic offensive was in full swing with Jameson Timba and Gladys Hlatshwayo said to be leading the exercise.
“We need to shepherd the process and stop all machinations from the likes of [ANC secretary-general Fikile] Mbalula, who are trying to downplay the situation in Zimbabwe,” Mkhwananzi said.
“How can someone say they want to celebrate the mediocrity of Zanu PF and at the same time complain about the mess that party has created in South Africa?
“We will leave no stone unturned. It is not about the reception of our delegates.
“The Sadc was very clear about how elections were held.
“Of course we will have special targets, we will strategically target some people.”
Mbalula was quick to congratulate Mnangagwa on his victory, and has declared that Zanu PF was the ANC’s ally not the CCC’s.
Several electoral observer missions also discredited the polls citing a number of irregularities which include intimidation of voters.
Sadc’s panel of elders was in the country last week following Mnangagwa’s disputed victory.
Mkhwananzi said the party was optimistic that the elders would be objective in their findings.
“I don’t think the elders will dispute what the observers who were on the ground, who actually saw some of the issues raised,” he said.
“We don’t have problems with them. We have problems with the likes of Mbalula, who should be called to order.
“South Africa should be at the forefront of fighting in the corner of the Zimbabwean people.”
Zanu PF and its members have targeted Mumba and Zambian leader Hakainde Hichilema after the disputed election, risking a diplomatic fallout.
Zanu PF has accused Hichilema of pushing a “Western agenda in Zimbabwe”.
Hichilema, who is the Sadc organ chair on politics, defence and security, appointed Mumba as the head of the regional bloc’s electoral observer mission.
Information deputy minister Kindness Paradza said Zimbabwe has ‘a brotherly relationship with Zambia’.
“We have no quarrel with Zambia,” Paradza said.
“What we object to was the Sadc preliminary report by Nevers Mumba, who happens to be from Zambia and went outside the parameters of his terms of reference as the head of the Sadc elections observer mission.
“The rest will be dealt with by Sadc itself.”
Institute for Security Studies’ southern Africa programme head Piers Pigou said Zimbabwe remained a “mestasising cancer in the heart of the Sadc region”.
“The bottom line, as we saw with the Sadc tribunal fiasco, Zimbabwe is prepared to try and divide Sadc on these issues, and seemingly some in Sadc will accommodate this,” Pigou said.
“As for relations with Zambia, Zanu PF has been bristling since the United Party for National Development took power under Hichilema and will not think twice to break this relationship further if they deem it accords with their wider power retention strategy.”
— The Standard