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How much is Zanu-PF paying for SADC silence, asks Namibian's Swartbooi

by Staff reporter
29 Sep 2023 at 06:31hrs | Views
Namibian opposition leader Bernadus Swartbooi has raised concerns about how Zimbabwe and the ruling Zanu-PF party seem to enjoy the protection and silence of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) despite allegations of massive electoral fraud, human rights abuses, and a coup in 2017 that was seemingly ignored by the regional body.

Swartbooi has called on the Namibian government to deport Zimbabwe's Ambassador in Windhoek, Melody Chaurura, until Zimbabwe resolves its issues.

Speaking to journalists, Swartbooi, leader of the Landless People's Movement, questioned why SADC appears so committed to protecting Zanu-PF that it dismisses its own Election Observer Mission (EOM) report just to recognize President Emmerson Mnangagwa's election.

He mentioned previous instances where SADC seemingly favored Zimbabwe, such as the closure of the SADC Tribunal after Zanu-PF lost a Supreme Court appeal related to land issues, and the lack of suspension or condemnation when a military coup toppled former President Robert Mugabe.

SADC issued a critical report on Zimbabwe's August 23 elections, a departure from previous elections, despite glaring irregularities. Other international organizations, including the African Union, Commonwealth, Carter Center, European Union, and the UK, also criticized the elections.

Swartbooi expressed frustration over SADC's seemingly unwavering support for Zanu-PF and questioned why the organization's credibility suddenly became questionable when it comes to Zimbabwe.

He also criticized SADC leaders for their lack of concern about violence in Zimbabwe and their immediate congratulatory messages to Mnangagwa after elections.

Swartbooi pointed out that it is essential to have trusted institutions and credible reports, but he questioned whose reports should be trusted if not SADC's.

SADC countries, including South Africa and Namibia, congratulated Mnangagwa despite concerns about how the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) managed the elections.

The SADC report has reportedly been ignored, with Zambia potentially taking the blame, and it has been labeled a Western-sponsored document.

Swartbooi concluded by expressing his dismay at the ongoing human rights violations in Zimbabwe and accused SADC leaders of being complicit in these violations.

Source - NewZimbabwe
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