An organization associated with ZANU PF, called the Citizens, has expressed its desire to see the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Election Observer Mission (SEOM) head, Nevers Mumba, being sanctioned due to his critical election report on the August elections.
In a press conference held in Harare, a representative of the Citizens, Lloyd Machacha, announced their intention to gather signatures for a petition against Mumba, which they plan to submit to Sadc.
Machacha claimed that Mumba’s report violated several clauses within Sadc’s guidelines. He also criticized Mumba’s criminal record, stating that it contradicted guideline 14.3(k), which specifies that the head of the delegation should have a clean record. Machacha emphasized that the only report they recognized was the European Union’s report, as it was deemed clear and straightforward.
The Citizens organization accused the SEOM of overstepping its mandate, alleging that it meddled in internal processes instead of solely observing. They contended that the report lacked objectivity as it primarily focused on areas where ZANU PF had a strong presence. Furthermore, they claimed that the SEOM disregarded the impact of sanctions on Zimbabwe’s political, economic, and social fabric. The organization voiced concerns that the SEOM was being exploited to undermine Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and democratic processes.
While Mumba’s adverse election report has drawn criticism from ZANU PF and the government, it is worth noting that other election observer missions also highlighted widespread irregularities in the August polls, including voter disenfranchisement and intimidation.
Despite the backlash, Sadc has defended Mumba’s report, standing by its findings.