SADC snubs Chamisa, European Union

IN a dramatic snub to CCC leader Mr Nelson Chamisa and his Western handlers, SADC on Thursday published its final report on the Zimbabwe elections that omitted opinionated submissions contained in the hugely discredited preliminary SADC Election Observer Mission (SEOM).

This effectively closed the country’s 2023 election chapter, leaving the opposition and its Western handlers clutching at straws.

Far from calling for the far-fetched fresh elections, or an extraordinary SADC summit that the CCC was desperately hoping for, the final report commended Zimbabwe for holding free and peaceful elections.

Part of the final reports reads: “The SEOM commends the people of Zimbabwe for conducting themselves in a peaceful, orderly and exemplary manner during the pre-election phase, voting days, and the immediate post-election period.”

Further, the final report commended political leaders in Zimbabwe “for spreading the message of peace and non-violence throughout the electoral cycle”.

Although it raised issues with some aspects in the August 23 harmonised elections, something that is not unique to Zimbabwe, the final report advised aggrieved parties to seek internal remedies.

“The SEOM calls for all concerned parties to ensure that any grievances with respect to the election results are channelled through the appropriate legal processes to ensure the exhaustion of domestic legal remedies.”

Post the elections, the opposition alleged that the polls had been rigged but did not petition the courts for remedy in accordance with the country’s laws, instead they clung on the dubious and hugely discredited SEOM preliminary report as a political lifeline.

The final report puts a nail on the coffin of those misplaced hopes as its recommendations will only be considered by Zimbabwe whether to adopt or reject.

In terms of Section 11.8.2 of the SADC Principles and Guidelines, when SEOM publishes and officially submits the election reports, Member States which held elections, may: (a) consider the recommendations advanced by the SEOM for improving the conduct of elections; and (b) submit to the Chair of the Organ, a response to the SEOM report.”

It is a dramatic snub on CCC leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, who has been canvassing regional support for the adoption of the adverse preliminary report. In a way, SADC told the opposition leader do not bother us instead use the internal mechanisms and processes to find recourse to your grievances.

The climb down in the report is also in part a capitulation to Harare’s fiery response to the biased preliminary report and a series of diplomatic engagements by President Mnangagwa during his trip to the United Nations General Assembly in September turned the pendulum and resultantly saw the deployment of sober heads to observe regional plebiscites.

However, the biggest loser is apparently the European Union (EU) which hoped to derive traction from a censorious SADC report and now they have a bad situation in their hands whether to tone down on their final report which is due in November against changed circumstances.

It equally remains to be seen whether authorities in Harare would allow the EU team to come to Zimbabwe given their well recorded predetermined stance on the country’s elections, even before they were held.

This all comes after Brussels was told of the unholy alliances that existed between some of their staff and CCC members like Gladys Hlatshayawo, who allegedly received generous amounts of money ahead of the elections.

On its part, SADC chose to stand with Zimbabwe, which will next year assume the chairmanship of the regional body and that again might have contributed to the watering down of the final report.

Herald

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