Zimbabwe’s election has glaring irregularities, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) declared in a final report a month and a half after the polls.
The SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to the Zimbabwe general elections maintained the position of preliminary findings sparked an uproar from the government in Harare, which accused Zambia of harbouring a regime change agenda.
A spirited attack by Harare to discredit the SEOM and its head, Nevers Mumba, a former Zambian vice president, seems to have been ineffective in swaying the final report from the initial condemnation of the way the elections were conducted.
Prior to the release of the final report, Zambian president Hakainde Hichilema, in his capacity as chairperson of the SADC troika on defence and politics, convened a meeting in which the Zimbabwean elections were up for discussion.
During the meeting, he raised concern the attack on the SEOM undermined SADC’s role.
The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) said the report supported its demand for fresh elections because it revealed numerous glaring irregularities that occurred during the elections.
The CCC added it believed fresh elections should be held in Zimbabwe on a level playing field, but only after a transitional authority, guided by SADC, ran the country for a while.
“Given these numerous irregularities, the citizens of Zimbabwe demand fresh elections, as the compromised electoral environment did not provide a conducive atmosphere for a credible election.
“To ensure this, a transitional authority, supported by SADC, must be established to oversee fresh elections in a new electoral environment.
“The current Zimbabwe Electoral Commission cannot be trusted to administer these elections,” the party said in a statement.
But Professor Jonathan Moyo, a political commentator and former government minister under the late Robert Mugabe, added the CCC’s demands have no backing.
“The final conclusion of the report will undoubtedly disappoint those who have been falsifying its conclusion and banking on using or even abusing it to push for ‘fresh elections’ or for a National Transitional Authority or for an extraordinary SADC Summit.
“Nothing of the sort emerges from the final report,” Moyo posted on X, formerly Twitter.
During a press conference on Thursday, Zanu-PF’s secretary for information and publicity, Christopher Mutsvangwa, claimed President Emmerson Mnangagwa was open to dialogue with CCC leader Nelson Chamisa.
“Chamisa was offered a platform for dialogue, an open engagement between President Mnangagwa and Chamisa with all the Zimbabwean people,” he said.