SADC report drops bombshell: Zimbabwe elections violated international standards!


Zimbabweans faced repression and declined to engage with observers due to fear of victimization during the August 23 and 24 elections, according to the final report of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Electoral Observation Mission (EOM). The report, submitted to the government, confirmed the preliminary findings that the elections did not meet local, regional, and international electoral standards.

Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party, denounced the elections as a “gigantic fraud” and refused to accept President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory. The opposition party is now calling for a fresh election supervised by SADC to address the current political impasse.

While the SEOM recommended that aggrieved parties seek domestic legal remedies to address election concerns, it acknowledged that some aspects of the elections did not meet the requirements of Zimbabwe’s Constitution, the Electoral Act, and the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021).

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The report also raised concerns about the independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), with allegations of close links between some ZEC officials and Zanu PF leaders. The SEOM recommended that any ZEC commissioners found to have such affiliations should be disqualified from recruitment, as it could violate electoral laws and SADC principles.

CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi praised the SEOM for highlighting key concerns raised by opposition parties. Chamisa has written to SADC, urging them to facilitate dialogue between himself and President Mnangagwa to address the deepening crisis in Zimbabwe. The CCC is exploring various options, including challenging Zanu PF’s actions, citizen activism, and diplomatic efforts, in addition to disengagement, to augment SADC’s initiatives.

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Overall, the SADC EOM’s final report revealed the challenges faced during the elections and the opposition’s rejection of the results. The report emphasized the need for legal remedies and reforms to address electoral shortcomings and called for dialogue to alleviate the crisis in Zimbabwe.

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