MDC-T leader, Douglas Mwonzora, expressed his scepticism about expecting significant intervention from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in resolving the political deadlock following the recent harmonised elections in Zimbabwe.
He acknowledged that while SADC and the African Union (AU) have diplomatic authority to pressure Zimbabwe, they lack the power to directly intervene in member states’ affairs.
Mwonzora highlighted that although SADC election observers reported irregularities, the bloc did not nullify the elections as they lacked the legal standing to do so. He clarified that the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) is separate from the SADC leadership, who have already congratulated President Emmerson Mnangagwa on his victory, dampening hopes for a fresh election. He added that individuals like Nelson Chamisa of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) who claim that SADC and the international community will intervene in Zimbabwe are likely making those statements to appease their supporters who anticipated a different result.
Mwonzora emphasized that SADC does not have the authority to order a re-run, as it is only possible if the leading presidential candidate fails to secure 50+1 percent of the votes and the other candidates challenge the results in the Constitutional Court and win the appeal.
He dismissed the idea of a Transitional Authority as undemocratic and unrealistic, as it would require the ruling party, ZANU PF, to voluntarily surrender power, which he does not foresee happening. Mwonzora believes that many governments in SADC and Africa overall, being liberation struggle parties like ZANU PF, would likely support President Mnangagwa and his party.
With President Mnangagwa already inaugurated and his cabinet appointed, Mwonzora reiterated that a re-run, Government of National Unity (GNU), or transitional authority were not viable options. He says focus must be put on the implementation of electoral reforms to ensure that future elections are free, fair and credible.