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US think-tank raps Sadc leaders over Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
16 Nov 2023 at 05:05hrs | Views
A UNITED STATES think-tank, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), says the failure by regional leaders to intervene and address the Zimbabwe crisis was perpetuating impunity, especially on human rights violations, by State actors.

CFR said Southern African Development Community (Sadc) leaders missed an opportunity to intervene after election observer missions flagged the August elections as not credible.

The think-tank said this has prolonged the crisis in Zimbabwe..

"At a time when African citizens are clearly signalling their frustration with manipulated elections and democratic window-dressing serving as cover for corrupt and authoritarian leadership, Sadc leaders bury their heads in the sand," CFR said.

"It's certainly not because the post-election trend line in Zimbabwe is positive, or because "quiet diplomacy" is bearing any fruit. Political violence still persists."

Several election observer missions cited a number of malpractices such as the intimidation of voters, saying this dented the credibility of the polls.

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has refused to accept the election results, which saw President Emmerson Mnangagwa being declared winner. He has described the August polls a "gigantic fraud".

CFR said failure to address Harare's problems had led to an increase in human rights abuses as well as deepening the long running socio-economic crisis.

"(President Emmerson) Mnangagwa and his inner circle believe they can act with near-total impunity. While Southern African leaders bemoan the way Zimbabwe's protracted crisis leads to politically explosive migration and dampens investor enthusiasm, they are unable or unwilling to confront the problem.

"It's the same failure of leadership that has plunged other African regions into dangerous instability."

The ruling Zanu-PF party, however, insists that Mnangagwa won the polls fairly and has shot down demands for a re-run.

Zanu-PF went as far as accusing Sadc election observer mission head, Nevers Mumba, of being an opposition supporter.

Source - southern eye