SADC’s surprising decision on disputed Zimbabwe election results leaves experts stunned

File Pic: His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa with his Zambian counterpart President Hakainde Hichilema

THE Southern African Development Community has accepted the results of last month’s harmonised elections in Zimbabwe and has now moved on to other countries where elections are due.

This emerged yesterday following a virtual meeting of the SADC Troika comprising Namibia, the outgoing chair, Zambia, current chair and Tanzania the incoming chair.

In its record of the Extraordinary meeting of the Troika which was held virtually and chaired by Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, SADC said the Election Observer Mission (SEOM) report had been finalised for submission to the bloc’s Chairperson and thereafter President Mnangagwa.

“The EO-MCO Troika also noted that the Zimbabwe SEOM (issued its Preliminary Statement on 25th August 2023 and, as stipulated by Section 11.8.1 of the Principles and Guidelines, the SEOM should produce its Final Report within 30 days and submit to the Member State that held the relevant election.

“The EO-MCO Troika further noted that since the 30 days have lapsed, the Zimbabwe SEOM report has been finalised for submission to the Chairperson of the Organ for onward transmission to the Head of State and the Electoral Management Body of the Republic of Zimbabwe.”

Weighing in on the SADC record, former Cabinet minister Professor Jonathan Moyo said the regional bloc had evidently “moved on”.

“While the final report of the Sadc Election Observation Mission (SEOM) is yet to be tabled for noting at the next Ordinary Sadc Summit scheduled for August 2024, it is safe to say that SADC has moved on regarding Zimbabwe’s 2023 harmonised general election.

“There will be no Extraordinary Ordinary Sadc Summit on SEOM’s report on Zimbabwe’s 2023 harmonised general election.

“Sadc observed the election, and prepared a report which has recommendations that Zimbabwe, as a member state, will be at liberty to review and act on or not act on in terms of its Constitution and laws, as it may deem fit as a sovereign state!” he wrote on his official X handle.

Following recommendations made by the SEOM in its report, it will be Zimbabwe’s prerogative to act on or not act on them.

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