Chamisa pleads with SADC to resolve 2023 electoral disputes, as Zimbabwe prepares to host the Bloc’s Heads of State summit

by | May 27, 2024 | Politics | 0 comments

Tafadzwa Nyikadzino

Opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa has pleaded with SADC to resolve the 2023 electoral disputes which came after he refused to accept his defeat to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom he accused of orchestrating electoral fraud and rigging to his favour.

Chamisa made his public address today as the country prepares to hold the 44th SADC Heads of State and Government Summit in August this year. Speaking to journalists in the capital, Chamisa said he wrote to SADC last year after the elections asking the regional bloc to resolve the country’s electoral dispute, and is waiting for its response.

He said the regional bloc can solve the country’s leadership dispute as he accused the current leadership of taking power through the back door. He also requested the bloc to stop engaging the current government until the dispute is solved.

“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,” said Chamisa.

“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.

“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 can not 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,” he said

Chamisa also revealed that he will pursue peaceful means to challenge President Mnangagwa’s leadership and resolve disputes. Chamisa said the country can not talk about the next elections that are slated for 2028 when the 2023 disputes are yet to be resolved.

“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.

“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,” he said.

Chamisa’s call comes at a time when President Mnangagwa is expected to assume the Chairmanship of the regional bloc this year at the Heads of State and Government summit to be held in the capital. The development puts doubts over the success of his plea because the bloc appears to have moved on from Zimbabwe’s elections.


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