Zim polls a done deal . . . as SADC moves on

A RINGING endorsement of the country’s recently held election by the Extraordinary SADC Summit signifies the regional body’s complete satisfaction with the harmonised polls outcome, diplomatic sources said.

This comes after a virtual summit drawing Heads of States and Governments from the region hailed Zimbabwe for recently holding elections in a democratic manner saying other countries that were due to hold elections this year had a lot to learn from the Zimbabwe.

In the aftermath of the SADC Summit endorsement, the country’s opposition which is desperate for a government of national unity, despite losing the polls, in characteristic fashion staged fake abductions, as is their norm ahead of major events, in a desperate bid to solicit favour with the regional body which on Saturday convenes a physical meeting in Angola to tackle the security issue in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The crisis-torn opposition has embarked on a regional expedition for fundraising and is now concocting abductions and falsehoods to curry favour with the Western world.

However, diplomatic sources in Botswana, the seat of SADC said the regional body considers Zimbabwe a done deal and will not be swayed by theatrics from the country’s opposition which has a habit of staging abductions ahead of international events to sully the image of the Government of Zimbabwe.“There were some who were desperate to sneak Zimbabwe into the agenda but that was rejected as an Extraordinary Summit can only be seized with one item, in the latest case it was DRC, a matter that was postponed because of technical glitches and will now be held in Angola over the weekend. Zimbabwe will not be on the agenda as SADC has made it clear that it held its elections in an exemplary manner beyond reproach, so I can say with no hesitation that the country is a closed chapter in terms of its elections and nothing, not even the drama from the opposition can reverse that stance,” said the source.

Another source added that when SADC meets on Saturday Zimbabwe will not be on the agenda but will save as an example to other regional countries with pending elections on how to conduct their plebiscites.

The country’s opposition, which thrives on misinformation with its willing media tools sponsored by agents of regime change like Osisa, has been selling the public bottled smoke that Zimbabwe will be on the SADC agenda, and in their fixation with chaos they have tried to damage the country’s reputation through staging abductions. However, Government sources assured the nation that the security of every Zimbabwean is guaranteed.

On Tuesday the virtual summit that was chaired by Angolan President Joao Lourenco described Zimbabwe’s August 23, 2023, elections as “exemplary and a major victory for democracy” and implored other countries in the region due to hold their polls later this year to emulate Harare.

The extraordinary virtual summit was convened to discuss the security situation in the region with particular focus on the DRC where there have been hostilities in the eastern parts of the country.

President Lourenco who initially congratulated President Mnangagwa for his election victory when they met on the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September repeated his message during Tuesday’s extraordinary summit which was attended by several Heads of State and Government who included Chairperson of Sadc Troika on Politics, Defence and Security and Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema.

“Your Excellencies, allow me to congratulate His Excellency, Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Majesty King Mswati (III) for the exemplary election that were recently conducted in your countries where there was tranquillity and the orderly manner in which they took place constituted a major victory of democracy and contribution to peace and stability amongst everyone in the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Kingdom of Eswatini. Allow me to express our hope that this same spirit will also be seen in the election that will take place in the Republic of Madagascar and the Republic of DRC,” said President Lourenco.

The endorsement of the election on Zimbabwe put paid to the country’s detractors that had sought to discredit the polls with baseless claims that they did not meet the SADC Guidelines and Protocols Governing Democratic Elections.

But most observers, countries and liberation movements, that include South Africa’s African National Congress gave the process a clean bill of health and hailed the peaceful process that occurred before, during and after elections.

In an interview soon after the meeting, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava said President Lourenco was quite precise in his acknowledgement of how credible the Zimbabwean elections were held.

“He was very positive and congratulated Zimbabwe once again. If you remember he did congratulate His Excellency, President Mnangagwa for his election when we were in New York during UNGA. Today at the opening ceremony he repeated that and also the Kingdom of Eswatini. Nothing more about Zimbabwe came out, although we identified an agenda item which wanted to discuss Zimbabwe but we adjourned before we got to it. Of course it was included by the people who prepared it, the Secretariat,” said Minister Shava.

He said Zimbabwe felt the inclusion of the item was not procedural given that an extraordinary meeting should not stray into other areas but focus on the purpose for which the meeting was convened.

“An extraordinary meeting discussed one thing they went for and in this case it was the DRC and we objected. The meeting ended because we were having connectivity glitches from the various places we were following proceedings from, so the meeting became inconsistent because of audibility. The chairman suggested that we should defer it so we could meet in person. He suggested that we have it this Saturday, so we might be going to Angola for a meeting on Saturday,” he said.


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