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Zimbabwe To Push SADC To Change Guidelines On Elections - Charamba

10 months agoSun, 10 Sep 2023 11:15:19 GMT
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Zimbabwe To Push SADC To Change Guidelines On Elections - Charamba

Zimbabwe is seeking to change SADC’s statutes and guidelines on elections after the SADC election observer mission (SEOM) criticised the country’s 2023 Harmonised Elections.

Speaking on SABC recently, presidential spokesperson George Charamba suggested that key decisions regarding the SEOM are currently being made by an individual, a situation he described as untenable. Said Charamba:

When you have a process that creates a Head of State, a government, that can create war and peace, does it make sense to leave one man in charge?

We must use the weaknesses we have seen in this mission to set things right in SADC.

Writing on X (formerly Twitter), Charamba said when Zimbabwe assumes the SADC chairmanship position next year, will push for changes to the status quo. He wrote:

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Those countries now look forward to Zimbabwe using its host and chair status to challenge this whole tradition of one leader who happens to chair an arm of an SADC organ exclusively determining an observer mission to an electoral process of sovereign SADC members.

My hunch is that this might be changed in Harare next year. Which makes sense! You can’t leave so critical midwifery process to the whims of one leader, a process which can make or break peace in a country, which produces a whole President, a whole government, a whole Parliament of any one SADC nation-state!

Since the SEOM released its preliminary report on the 23 August Harmonised Elections, ZANU PF has singled out former Zambian Vice-President and SEOM head Nevers Mumba for criticism.

The SEOM report said the elections were not free, fair and credible and did not meet regional and international standards.

United Kingdom-based lawyer and human rights advocate Brighton Matebuka was quoted by NewsDay as saying ZANU PF “spectacularly” failed to isolate Mumba.

He said the absence of the majority of SADC Heads of State from Mnangagwa’s inauguration was a “powerful diplomatic indication of the extent of the isolation he now suffers from the region owing to the shameless and sham election that he recently held”. He added:

Publicly, ED [Mnangagwa] and his regime were desperate to present a fait accompli or business-as-usual image of a juggernaut marching on crushing anything in its path but privately, the gesture undertaken by SADC would have hit home.

SADC carefully choreographed the rebuffs in order to signify the seriousness of the situation and to communicate to the regime that it was not backing down or throwing SEOM and Dr. Mumba under the bus.

Matebuka said the absence of the SADC chair of the organ on politics, defence and security, Hakainde Hichilema, SADC’s immediate past chairperson and Namibian President Hage Geingob, and SADC chairperson, President Joao Lourenco of Angola from Mnangagwa’s inauguration showed that there was coordination among SADC leaders. He said:

That absence clearly suggests that diplomatic coordination took place and that the strategy of singling out Dr. Nevers Mumba when trying to undermine SEOM’s report has spectacularly backfired.

Meanwhile, Hichilema has SADC leaders should avoid calling each other names especially when solving problems they created, calling it “an abnormality”.

ZANU PF has labelled Hichilema, who appointed Mumba to head the SEOM, a Western puppet.

More: Pindula News



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