The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), which is a coalition of local civil society organisations, has written to Angolan president João Lourenço, who is the current Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) chairperson, seeking the regional body’s intervention “return” Zimbabwe “to majority rule”.
In a letter seen by NewsDay, dated 18 September 2023, CiZC chairperson Peter Mutasa appealed to Lourenço that SADC considers the election observer mission reports issued by various bodies critical of how the 2023 Zimbabwe Harmonised Elections were conducted. The letter read in part:
"Sadly, as expressed by the various election observer mission reports including the SADC Elections Observer Mission (SEOM), the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and the African Union-COMESA Joint EOM (AU), the elections in Zimbabwe were not free, fair or credible.
In light of that, Your Excellency, we humbly request that your office diplomatically engage Harare to assist this country in returning to majority rule.
The current electoral coup is not good for Zimbabwe, the SADC and the African Union."
Most of the election observer missions, including SEOM, reported that the elections did not meet regional and international standards for the holding of free, fair and credible polls.
Mutasa described President Emmerson Mnangagwa and ZANU PF’s win as an “electoral coup”. He wrote:
"The SADC that you lead faces the task of pre-empting and hence stopping the scourge of military coups, by averting and stopping “electoral coups” in southern Africa.
Zimbabwe must be assisted by the region to cure the bane of contested elections and governmental legitimacy which is stalling her economic recovery and sustainable growth.
As a way ahead, Mr. President, we kindly ask your esteemed office to cause a SADC extraordinary summit to meet and receive reports from all parties including our present government and us, civil society."
Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rejected the election outcome and has been engaging SADC leaders to intervene and call for a fresh election.