Sadc report causes storm

via Sadc report causes storm – DailyNews Live by Maxwell Sibanda

The Southern African Development Community, Sadc Election Observer Mission, Seom, last week released the final election report of the July 31 elections which has caused a storm in Zimbabwe’s political field.

Bernard Membe, Tanzanian foreign affairs minister and the head of SEOM and his team of observers have been blasted for being biased towards Zanu PF with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and civic organisations dismissing his report.

Tsvangirai says the Sadc election observer mission has failed to live up to its set guidelines for free and fair elections.

He said the observer team produced a “saddening” report that is “factually wrong”.

“What I fail to read in the report is first and foremost that in Maputo, Sadc was very clear that certain reforms and processes were key if free and fair elections were to be conducted.

“And secondly, Sadc has guidelines; they don’t even mention whether our elections passed the test of those benchmarks, they don’t even make that reference.”

The Daily News on Sunday spoke to social and political commentators on their take on the Sadc final report.

Playwright Cont Mhlanga says it is clear that the Sadc report is aimed at getting Zimbabwe to move on and get out of the election mood and a disputed election stance will defeat that purpose.

“In this situation it was best for Sadc to avoid the issue of fairness. Let’s not forget that it was the same Sadc that insisted that the election road map and reforms must be carried out to the letter before the election to achieve fairness, but they know as much as we all know that the reforms were not implemented to the dot.

“However the debate on fairness was undermined by the over confident opposition who all agreed to participate in the election before the full implementation of the reforms and by a too wide a margin in the results in favour of the now ruling party,” says Mhlanga.

He believes the gap is just too wide to raise issues of fairness and Sadc finds itself in a compromised situation created by the opposition itself.

“Sadc handled the report the best way they could under the circumstances in the interest of moving the country forward and I agree with them a hundred percent.

“Every Zimbabwean should work at getting the country out of the election mood in all ways possible to them,” Mhlanga says.

Media practitioner Rashweat Mukundu says the report is a balancing act to mollify all contesting parties in Zimbabwe, this regardless of the critical position taken by the MDC.

“The Sadc report falls short of saying the election was not free by describing the voter roll access challenges as a key matter that informs whether an election is free or otherwise.

“Despite the affirmation of the credibility and fairness of the election, Sadc has made a strong point on areas that need reform for future elections. It is a way out for Sadc from a difficult political situation,” says Mukundu.

Harare residents Trust, HRT director Precious Shumba says the Sadc report reflected the thinking within the Sadc region.

“Realising that the regional block has concluded the Zimbabwe election matter, it is prudent for all Zimbabweans to plan for the future and those who are aggrieved by their loss in the elections must not hold the country back but separate their political grievances and the positive development of Zimbabwe as a whole.

“Every citizen has a responsibility to contribute positively towards the development of Zimbabwe where everyone is treated equally before the law.

“The report must be regarded as the source document to address challenges observed. Let us take the contents of that report to inform civil society’s lobby and advocacy approaches,” says Shumba.

Pan Africanist Thomas Deve says the tone of the Sadc report comes as no surprise to many people since the observer team had passed very positive statements in the run up to the election.

“Ironically, there were indications that the majority of Sadc member states were more inclined towards a process that would deliver a Zanu PF government on the assumption that this will be surest way of guaranteeing the so called solidarity enjoyed since the days of the anti-colonial struggle,” says Deve.

A United States non-governmental organisation research group, the Freedom House, has blasted Sadc for its position on Zimbabwe’s just ended elections which saw millions take to the poll with large numbers being turned away.

African director for Freedom House, Vukasin Petrovic  said: “These elections were plagued with voters’ roll manipulation and widespread intimidation from the ruling Zanu PF and were, therefore, neither free nor fair,” reads the statement.

“Local NGOs noted systematic disenfranchisement during the election process, with significantly more voters being turned away in urban strongholds of the opposition MDC than in rural Zanu PF strongholds.”

“However reports of vote rigging should not come as a surprise because election results were decided long before election day,” said Vukasin without disclosing the evidence for his assertions.

Last year, Freedom House in a poll survey said Zanu PF had recovered from 2008 election disaster gaining ratings from 19 to 31 percent while the MDC dramatically dropped from 39 to 30 percent in the same period.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • comment-avatar
    Chiwaridzo 7 years ago

    When the SADC leaders disbanded the critical SADC Tribunal two years ago this was the first sign that SADC was not prepared to stand by its own charter and in turn disregard the rights of all SADC citizens …. A very serious undertaking and a clear sign to the free world that Africa has no intention of abiding to recognized democratic values. The US, UK and European Union has an obligation to put unprecedented pressure on SADC to adhere to its own charter, the first step is to demand that the SADC tribunal be reinstated immediately , if the SADC countries don’t conform then the US,UK and European Union should introduce financial and trade restrictions on all SADC countries pressuring them to conform…

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      maisokwazo 7 years ago

      Well it appears that we Zimbabweans are just goindg to lament and langiush in our man made misery that we are just.

      Level headed Zimbabweans and all world progressive forces saw this coming. What a shame!

      It is a well known fact and the truth that MDC and Tsvangirai won the 2008 elections free and square yet because Mugabe and his cohorts controlled the security and state apparatus denying Zimbabweans of the government of their choice, unleashed the most vicious and most brutal violence to the Zimbabwe populace and the world watched in horror.

      Mugabe ran a one man presidential contest when MDC decided to recuse themselves from such sham and “WON”

      The question is why did Mugabe as the victor not go ahead and rule since he had won?

      Mugabe did not manage to rule because he needed Tsvangirai TVASNGIRAI DID NOT NEED MUGABE MUGABE NEEDED TSVANGIRAI

      Out of reasonableness Tsvangirai joined Mugabe to alleviate the suffering of the Zimbabwe people and at the instigation of the so called SADCC and out of goodwill not knowing that he was playing with a snake, a murderer and a master of deception

      Hence the resultant sham elections and sham results !!

      What defies logic is why would SADCC endorse sham elections and produce sham report -to deceive the world-

      Go ahead SADCC convince the world the Zimbabwe elections were free and credible ha but the people of Zimbabwe have brains and will never forget nor forgive.

      You can not hold the opposition MDC for not launching a vociferous and substantive argument yet Mugabe defied you the guarantors of GNU on numerous ocassions and the opposition went into the elections on the basis of their trust in you and you failed Zimbabweans you should have said you failed to uphold your own resolutions rendering you a toothless bulldog who shiver and lick when Mugabe barks but Mugabe is no God he is just as human as anybody else

  • comment-avatar
    adam jones 7 years ago

    the merchants of zhing zhong must be rubbing their hands.

  • comment-avatar

    As much as I believe the elections were rigged I feel the MDC must also blame itself for participating without the voters roll nor much needed reforms. We should move forward and fight corruption to start with and fix our infrastructure because we are paying for good service delivery irrespective who is in power.

  • comment-avatar
    beck son 7 years ago

    Rotten eggs on sadc’s face

  • comment-avatar
    Sibangilizwe Lethu 7 years ago

    To all those who blame MDC-T and support the sadc move its quite clear that in one way or the other these people are getting something from zanu pf. Some of our fellow ZIMBABWEANS are not serious about seeing this country improve, surely you cant say its time to move forward after 33 solid years of failure and think Zimbabwe will rise from nowhere. A change is needed for Zimbabwe to rise up again. Zanu pf does not support a change because they will be losers.