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WATCH: Prof Ibbo Mandaza did not proffer any new data to support his unorthodox call

29 Sep 2023 at 08:19hrs | Views
Herewith is a link to the OR Tambo School of Leadership Public Lecture given today by Prof Ibbo Mandaza on "The State of Democracy in the Sadc Region: a Reflection on the National Elections of Zimbabwe".

Predictably, the eagerly awaited lecture turned out to be a pitch for the internet based petition, currently with some 80,000 petitioners of unverified nationality and with unverified signatures; written by Ibbo Mandaza and Dr Tony Reeler pushing their longstanding 2016 idea - therefore not connected to Zimbabwe's 2023 elections per se - that there should be a handpicked and thus unelected National Transitional Authority [NTA] in Zimbabwe.

The lecture had quite some pointed and useful background information on the formation of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation whose remit now includes overseeing the Sadc Election Observation Mission [SEOM], which tied itself in knots over its controversial report, and particularly over the emotive and outrageous public gallery comments by its loquacious Chairperson, Nevers Mumba, appointed by Hakainde Hichilema, in his capacity as the Organ Troika Chairperson.

Unfortunately, the much awaited lecture did not proffer any new data, new information, new angles, or new analysis to support Prof Mandaza's unorthodox call for Sadc to invalidate and jettison the recent election and, instead, facilitate and "scaffold" his proposed unelected NTA.

It was a rehash of the same stuff that has been heard since SEOM released its preliminary report on 25 August 2023.  In the main, the narrative is based on the unmistaken and blatant falsification of the SEOM conclusion to the effect that SEOM invalidated Zimbabwe's 2023 harmonised general election by allegedly finding that the election was neither free nor fair no credible.

In point of fact, there is no such a finding or conclusion in SEOM's published preliminary report. And the SEOM recommendations, which are the most important part of the report, do not even remotely point to or suggest such a finding or conclusion.

On a major talking point arising from his lecture, Prof Mandza made one particularly jarring postulation that raises eyebrows: he opined that "Zimbabwe is in a Lancaster House Moment".

Given that the Lancaster House scenario was a decolonization moment, what does Prof Mandaza mean politically, historically, ideologically, geopolitcally and empirically by his postulation that Zimbabwe today is in a "Lancaster House Moment"?

This is not a sort of postulation that one makes fleetingly and presumptuously. In any event, this might have been a Freudian slip of an idea on Prof Mandaza's part, but whatever the case, it is clear that it's an idea which underpins Prof Mandaza's proposed NTA which, as already intimated above, goes back to at least 2016 and thus predates the 2023 elections that Prof Mandaza and Dr Tony Reeler are opportunistically and audaciously using to pitch their NTA proposal.

What this means is that there appears to be more to Prof Mandaza's NTA proposal, than meets the eye, apart from or beyond Zimbabwe's 2023 harmonised general election and SEOM's report on those elections, both of which seem to be convenient ruses.

Time will tell, as it always does!

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