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Zimbabwe not discussed at Sadc Troika

by Staff reporter
29 Sep 2023 at 10:15hrs | Views
THE much-hyped Sadc Troika Summit. which was convened on Wednesday this week did not discuss the adverse preliminary report issued by its electoral observer mission on Zimbabwe's polls held last month, fresh details have emerged.

This potentially frustrates efforts by the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa to nudge the regional bloc to call for fresh elections in Zimbabwe.

President Emmersorn Mnangagna won the presidential election by 52.6% of the votes, while Chamisa garnered 44%.

Sadc's observer mission, led by former Zambian vice president Nevers Mumba in its preliminary report, issued a negative statement on August 24 citing that Zimbabwe's elections failed to satisfy the 16-member bloc's guidelines governing credible polls.

CCC has embarked on a whirlwind diplomatic tour around the region in a bid to pressure Sadc to disregard Mnangagwa's victory and organise fresh elections in Zimbabwe. However, highly placed sources within the Sadc Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM) told the Zimbabwe Independent that its preliminary report announced in the wake of Zimbabwe's elections was not on the agenda of the Sadc Troika extraordinary summit held this week.

"The observer mission report on Zimbabwe was not on the agenda," a source told the Independent after being quizzed on whether the Sadc Troika had endorsed the SEOM report read by Mumba at the close of Zimbabwe's elections.

This sharply contrasts the statement issued by Zambia's Foreign Affairs ministry. which highlighted that the SEOM report among other issues pertaining to the region's security was tabled for discussion during the Sadc Troika's Summit.

The summit will deliberate on the security situation in eastern DRC. Updates of pledged critical capabilities for Sadc Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIDRC) and progress made towards deployment in the eastern DRC, particularly the revised indicative budget for the SAMIDRC, excerpts from the statement issued by Zambia's Foreign Affairs ministry on September 26 reads.

"Additionally. the Sadc Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) on the harmonised elections in the Republic of Zimbabwe. as well as, other impending elections in the Sadc region will also be discussed at the summit."

Zambian President and chairperson of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation Hakainde Hichilema convened the much-anticipated extraordinary virtual summit of the Troika, which, however, did not deliberate on the SEOM report that has sharply divided the region to the core.

The summit, which was expected in opposition circles to endorse the SEOM report was attended by Hage Geingob (Namibia), Tanzania's Samia Hassan and Felix Tshisekedi from the DRC. Tshisekedi, who is one of the three leaders, including Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa) and Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique who attended Mnangagwa's swearing-in-ceremony on September 4.

However, in a communique of the extraordinary ministerial committee meeting of the Troika held on Tuesday, the Sadc ministers noted with concern, the personal attacks and threats in the media that were directed at Mumba and Hichilema.

"The attacks were made by individuals in both the ruling Zanu PF political party and some in high-level positions in the Government of Zimbabwe. The narrative in these attacks have been that the SEOM Preliminary Statement on the Zimbabwean elections was personally authored by Dr Nevers Mumba," the communique reads in part.

Following the announcement of the SEOM report by Mumba, Zimbabwe and Zambia have been on a collision course with top Zanu PF officials suggesting that Hichilema's administration was being used as a front by former colonial powers to effect regime change in Harare.

Subsequently, Mnangagwa's Zanu PF has spiritedly been drumming up support from former liberation movements in the region, including ANC of South Africa, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Tanzania), Frelimo (Mozambique) Swapo (Namibia), MPLA (Angola), BDP (Botswana) and the Malawi Congress Party to disregard the SEOM report.

Zanu PF's brinkmanship manoeuvres to coalesce around former African liberation movements, sources told the Independent, were primarily meant to keep opposition parties in the region at bay.

"Hakainde Hichilema is alone in this whole thing and these former liberation movements are united as they actually believe they are under some attack," a source told this publication.

Source - the independent
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