Resolution of the disputed August 2023 elections: Nelson Chamisa updates Zimbabweans



Fellow citizens,

I have prepared this brief statement to update you on the efforts around the resolution of the disputed outcome of the August 2023 general elections that did not produce a credible and legitimate government chosen by the citizens of Zimbabwe.

As you are aware, following the shambolic and disputed August 2023 elections, we held nationwide consultations with you, the citizens, and all other relevant stakeholders, on the ways and means to resolve the electoral fraud. You, the citizens of Zimbabwe, are very clear and firm on the position that the elections were improperly conducted, indeterminate and produced a manipulated outcome.

This position is supported and confirmed by SADC, the African Union, the European Union, the Commonwealth, COMESA, and all other intergovernmental organizations which deployed election observer missions to Zimbabwe. There is no other election in the history of elections in this country that has invited resounding and universal condemnation as the August 2023 elections. This matter must be resolved so that the country can have proper elections that produce a proper government from the citizens.

Fellow citizens, as your presidential choice, you, in your millions, (nearly over TWO MILLION), gave a clear mandate, albeit in a disputed and contested election. That mandate cannot be abdicated, abandoned, or surrendered. Upon and with your mandate, on the 26th of September 2023, we wrote to our regional body, SADC, the guarantor of the values and principles of the aspirations of the “common agenda” and “common will” of the people of Southern Africa.

On 23 October 2023 SADC responded to our request and advised that they were giving the matter due consideration. Meanwhile, we have noted the various meetings the leadership of SADC has held, including the latest Extraordinary Summit of the Organ Troika on the 23rd of March 2024 in Lusaka, Zambia. Therefore, we have advisedly been patiently waiting on our request.

On the 29th of April, however, since considerable time has passed, yet we had sought to resolve this issue much earlier, we delivered our follow-up to SADC for which we await a response to determine a clear path forward to resolve the governance crisis and leadership dispute.

Our request to SADC was and remains very simple, that, as the regional body which Zimbabwe has signed up for membership and vested some authority in the supranational
intergovernmental organization, we require their facilitation to peacefully resolve the issues around the irregular and disputed elections. The problem of the manipulated elections that produced a government without a mandate from the citizens has since culminated into high levels of intolerance, violations, repression, illegal recalls of citizen representatives (of the very same disputed election, in itself, an unprecedented move and an encyclopedic infraction of democratic tenets) unlawful arrests and persecution of citizens upon all other kinds of archaic intimidatory and suppressive manifestations of the lack of mandate.

It is common knowledge that our country is facing a plethora of problems. Most of them are basic and symptomatic of bad governance, broken politics, and disputed leadership.

We have a tanking economy; systemic corruption; 49% of the population living in extreme poverty; USD$1,8bn lost to looting annually; USD$100m worth of gold smuggled monthly; galloping hyperinflation; half of the population that is food insecure; over 3 million Zimbabweans forced to migrate; 89% unemployment; and disputed national processes and elections.

Only a legitimate government chosen by the citizens has both the confidence and mandate to deliver on their necessities and demands. You voted for a government that would deliver healthcare, energy, water, jobs, stable currency, quality education and other basic services. You know why you voted for change. The current challenges of failing to resolve the huge national debt, high inflation, currency distortions, drought, starvation, poverty, poor income, the hostile political environment, an air of sadness and brain drain are all symptoms of a government without a proper mandate. Zimbabwe’s challenges are a direct result of the lack of legitimacy and mandate to govern. A truly elected citizen government is the solution for good governance and service delivery.

We reiterate this point to SADC, the AU and indeed to the international community, that it is untidy and untenable to sanitize or fertilize theft of elections and electoral malpractices by turning a deaf ear and casting a blind eye to matters of gigantic electoral fraud. Such is an afront to “the Africa we want”.

As you are aware, elections are the highest level through which a mandate is attained or ascertained as a contract between the governing and the governed. No government can
justly claim authority to govern unless it is based on the will and consent of the people.

On that score, none must be allowed to come into office through the backdoor, the window, cohesive means or command antics and tactics. Our regional and international institutions cannot condemn a process and yet condone it and ultimately endorse it. It would be a contradiction in terms, to determine a process as flawed and yet condone its outcome.

Fellow citizens, may I hasten to say, the following and exhaustion of available remedies and peaceful means to resolve national issues is not a manifestation of weakness or that we are devoid of other ideas and means. It is our strict commitment to finding each other and amicably resolving our points of conflict, disjuncture, and disagreement.

We have committed to a peaceful resolution of disputes and intend to exhaust all available peaceful remedies. As you are all aware, millions of you agree with this approach. Zimbabwe is too beautiful and precious to be destroyed by flames of political disputes under our watch. Peace is fragile. Peace is sacrosanct. And the breakdown of peace knows no winner. The opposite of peace leaves us all losers.

Our beautiful country can never progress on the back of disunity and successive disputed national processes including contested elections. We are acutely aware of the urgency of this matter and more importantly that there can never be any talk of 2028 or a viable and stable future for this country without resolving August 2023, the broken past, and disputed politics. It remains our hope and indeed your hope that all these concerns will be addressed with urgency and seriousness.

On my part I am doing everything necessary, to the extent of God’s Will, to seek a lasting solution to the perennial challenges affecting our beloved country. Locally and nationally, I have engaged all the stakeholders including the traditional leadership, business leadership, civil society at large, political parties and members of the diplomatic corp.

In particular, I have also sought the mediatory role of the church leadership to help resolve the disputed elections and contested national processes, albeit, with handicapped progress. I have even numerously efforted engagement with the other presidential contender and he is aware of our point of dispute and the proposed way forward. We have also developed and shared our roadmap with all key stakeholders, which paper we are ready to make public in due course. We have engaged different stakeholders within the SADC region.

At Heads of State level,I have engaged leaders through delegations that I sent to the various capitals of the region and the continent to brief Esteemed Excellencies about the election dispute, the political stalemate, and our proposed way forward.

I therefore urge you to take an active role in peacefully determining the destiny of our country. I exhort you, fellow citizens, the intercessors, and the church, to continue to pray for a smooth and peaceful transition in our country. Stay the course, hold the fort, hold fast and stand involved. Stand ready. Change is upon us.

#Foreveryone #Godisinit!

God Bless You, God Bless Zimbabwe.

I thank you.

Under my name and hand.

Nelson Chamisa

Your Servant.

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