Zimbabwe’s Opposition Remains Hopeful for SADC Mediation
The disputed elections in Zimbabwe continue to cause political tensions, according to opposition party Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). CCC leader Nelson Chamisa wrote to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) last month, requesting their help in facilitating talks between Zimbabwe’s main political players.
The CCC has rejected the results of Zimbabwe’s August elections, which saw incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared the winner amid claims of vote rigging. In his letter to SADC, Chamisa called the election “flawed” and said the only way to resolve the crisis would be to hold free and fair polls monitored by independent observers.
SADC had planned to discuss Zimbabwe’s situation at a virtual meeting this week, but the government objected to including it on the agenda. However, Foreign Minister Fredrick Shava acknowledged that SADC’s chairman and secretariat wanted Zimbabwe’s crisis to be discussed as a matter of urgency. With rising tensions in Zimbabwe, the CCC remains hopeful SADC will agree to mediate dialogue between political parties at their upcoming summit this Saturday in Angola.
“SADC must be able to mediate a political settlement. Zimbabwe is on the agenda of the next SADC convening because we have raised various issues that need to be addressed,” said CCC spokesperson Gift Siziba.
However, ZANU-PF dismiss the opposition’s calls, pointing to SADC’s congratulations of Mnangagwa as evidence the election is considered legitimate. The mediation efforts of the regional bloc will be crucial to resolving Zimbabwe’s ongoing governance crisis.