Civil groups make urgent plea to SADC as Zimbabwe election chaos drags on


Zimbabwean civil society groups seek SADC help in resolving election dispute

A coalition of civil society organizations in Zimbabwe has petitioned the Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson to intervene in the country’s ongoing electoral crisis.

In a letter to Angolan President João Lourenço, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) chair Peter Mutasa argued that the July 2018 elections failed to meet regional standards for free and fair polls, as noted by observer missions. With the vote results still heavily disputed domestically, Mutasa urged Lourenço to diplomatically “engage Harare to assist this country return to majority rule.”

The presidency was declared won by Emmerson Mnangagwa over opposition challenger Nelson Chamisa, though EU observers cited “intimidation of voters, hostile media environment and more.” CiZC maintains this constitutes an “electoral coup” that undermines Zimbabwe’s democracy and economic recovery.

As SADC citizens, Mutasa said Zimbabweans deserved the same protection from regional instability as neighbouring countries receiving SADC support. He requested Lourenço convene an extraordinary summit to formally address electoral concerns raised by civil society and the government.

Separately, Nelson Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change party has also reached out to SADC leaders, hoping regional engagement can help resolve question marks around the August election and restore political legitimacy in Zimbabwe. With stability remaining elusive, external mediation appears increasingly crucial to skeptical citizens and observers.

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