Zimbabwe elections saga: SADC sounds alarm after Zanu PF bigwigs attacked Hichilema and Nevers Mumba

SADC mission head Nevers Mumba

SADC leaders concerned about attacks on election observers

Leaders from Southern African countries have expressed worry over attacks directed at observers of Zimbabwe’s recent elections. Ministers from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zambia met virtually as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika committee.

The group discussed the preliminary findings of SADC’s Election Observer Mission (SEOM) to Zimbabwe. While the report found issues that fell short of international standards, the ministers were more concerned about personal insults aimed at those involved in the process. Both Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichelima and former Vice President Nevers Mumba, who led the observer team, faced criticism from figures in Zimbabwe’s ruling party and government.

The SADC Troika committee chair, Zambian Foreign Minister Stanley Kakubo, said the attacks threatened the reputation of SADC. If left unchecked, they could damage people’s trust in the regional body. While elections will always involve differing opinions, targeting individuals in this way undermines SADC’s principles of fair and open polls.

The ministers recommended SADC take steps to protect its structures and leadership from such unwarranted attacks moving forward. Reports also need to follow procedure closely so no one can claim they represent only certain views. Overall, the leaders sought to restore dignity to SADC’s role in democratic processes and prevent harsh rhetoric that solves nothing. A well-respected observer mission remains important for transparency and accountability in Southern African elections.

Zanu PF bigwigs Patrick Chinamasa and Christopher Mutsvangwa led the attacks against Mumba after the preliminary report.

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