Democratic values ‘eroding’ as ZANU PF to oversee SA polls

via Democratic values ‘eroding’ as ZANU PF to oversee SA polls | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Friday, May 2, 2014

Skepticism has greeted news that ZANU PF will be overseeing South Africa’s general elections next week, with concern raised about the ‘erosion’ of democratic values in the region.

Robert Mugabe’s party announced this week that it is sending an observer mission to monitor the voting process in South Africa, after an invitation by the ANC government. In a statement, ZANU PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the delegation left on Thursday and will be in South Africa for two weeks. Gumbo said the invitation demonstrates “confidence” in ZANU PF.

“ZANU PF and the ANC have a lengthy history of working together and both are part of the national liberation movements which helped bring freedom to the continent after decades of political and economic subjugation,” he said.

It is this history between the two parties that is widely believed to be the reason why South Africa never took a hard line with the Mugabe regime, while it was the regional mediator in Zimbabwe’s political crisis. It was under former President Thabo Mbeki’s mediation that ZANU PF was handed a lifeline in the way of the unity government, which allowed the party to cling to power despite losing elections in 2008.

It was then under current President Jacob Zuma’s watch that Zimbabwe’s general elections were held in 2013, despite a lack of reform that Zuma’s team had originally stipulated were necessary. Zuma and other regional SADC leaders then went on to endorse the Zimbabwe elections, despite widespread reports of irregularities and vote manipulation.

Tiseke Kasambala, the Southern Africa Director at Human Rights Watch, said the situation indicates how ‘problematic’ SADC’s position is.

“If you’re looking at SADC procedure, there’s nothing wrong with ZANU PF coming, because SADC endorsed the elections in Zimbabwe. But it says a lot about how SADC runs elections in the region. There are principles and guidelines that govern democratic elections, but it seems it (SADC) doesn’t hold itself to its own principles,” Kasambala told SW Radio Africa.

Botswana’s President Ian Khama is the only African leader to isolate himself from the endorsement of Zimbabwe’s polls, saying there is enough concern about the process to warrant an audit of the results. He has also said that Botswana will no longer take part in regional election observer missions, because the principles governing democratic polls had been violated in Zimbabwe’s case.

Kasambala said that Botswana’s position signals a wider loss of faith in the SADC leadership, which needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

“They are simply undermining their own principles in governing elections, and citizens have no faith in SADC endorsing elections as a result,” Kasambala said.

She added: “It is problematic that South Africa and SADC have lowered the bar when it comes to standards of democratic elections across the region. When they lower the bar for elections, it lowers democracy across the region.”


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14 comments on “Democratic values ‘eroding’ as ZANU PF to oversee SA polls
  1. Senzachena says:

    They could not “lower the bar” any further, it never got off the ground. The majority of the Southern African Dictators Club (SADC) are an absolute disgrace and Mbeki and Zuma have Zimbabwe blood on their hands for supporting Mugabe and Zanu. The worm will turn, and is turning now. They cannot support a totally bankrupt Zimbabwe short of pouring in millions of Rands/$. This they will not do as it would decrease the amount available for them to siphon off for their personal use!! Scum supporting trash what a mixture!!

  2. spiralx says:

    Apart from one good idea, NEPAD, Mbeki systematically betrayed every one of the founding ideals of his party, and SA ended up much the poorer for it. Zuma is doing the same, though he never had much credit even before he got his present job.

  3. Chaka says:

    Anc must remember that zpf n Malema r friends n nikuv can make a surprise.

  4. Owen says:

    The leaders of the SADC nations are not at all invested in the concept of SADC. Rather they use it to legitimize their abuses. This is extremely short-sighted. SADC has the potential to transform the region, but it is being turned into a toy by small-minded leaders.

  5. Daddy Chikos says:

    That’s why Africa is not taken seriously. What confidence Mr Rugare.keeping quiet was better on this issue.If you go therego and copy good things and implement them.

  6. John Thomas says:

    This means nothing. It is like giving a 2 year old a toy to keep him quiet.

  7. hautombonzwisisi kuti zvinhu zvacho zvirikumbofamba sei,unotonzwa vamwe vachiti heee zuma haana hushamwari namudhara bob, vamwe vachiti zuma asheedza bob kuti azoongorora sarudzo dzazuma hhaa hautombonzwisisi.vamwe vachiti malema ishamwari yamugabe, vamwe vachiti malema ndiye akasarudza kuti mugabe azobatsira kuti iye ahwine hhaa hautombonzwisisi,

  8. adelle says:

    wat a joke!

  9. Gomogranny says:

    Conveniently for ZANU every structure set up by those with a truly Democratic goal can be manipulated to achieve the exact opposite. These structures, such as Councils, Parliaments, elections have a fatal flaw….they assume the players are united in respecting the rights and wishes of citizens. This party are THE experts – every single structure set up in Zimbabwe by the Colonial government of the old “Rhodesia” has been converted to into a ZANU weapon for anti-democracy. They will enjoy their little trip to South Africa and no doubt catch up on some shopping.

  10. Gondobwe says:

    Quid pro quo. period.

  11. ZANU-PF has gone to observe the South Africa election, not for the good of anyone but for it’s own prestige.It wants to be looked on a revolutionary and democratic,but it is the opposite of such values and principles.It is widely believed that ZANU-PF rigged the 2013 elections with the assistance of Nikuv.President Zuma and SADC failed to monitor or observe the Zim elections accurately,or it’s because SADC was tired of the Zim problem.So they declared the elections free and fair,with only the exception of President Khama who refused to accept these bogus elections.ZANU-PF has gone to SA to thank SA for keeping quite on the real issue of the Zim elections 2013.I only hope that SA will not conduct it’s elections through a clandestine and corruption system as what happened in the Zim election 2013.

  12. Petal says:

    They just returning a favour!- SA came to scratche the bufoons back so they are going to scratch their backs!! thats how it works with those who are not honest in other words. Jacob does not care about the ordinary people from Zim he only cares that he gets assistance covering up his tracks !!

  13. Petal says:

    and Guptagate !!( Mr. Gupta Jacobs pal who enraged people with by flying his entourage to an air force base from India for his daughters wedding and was given a police escort he has never been brought to charge!!

  14. Petal says:

    despite the entourage evading customs and immigration!!

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