via Tsvangirai takes ‘proof’ to Sadc by Mernat Mafirakurewa of Newsday Zimbabwe
The MDC-T party will send the dossier containing “proof” of alleged poll irregularities to South African President Jacob Zuma ahead of the Sadc Heads of State and Government Summit scheduled for next week.
The summit to be hosted by Malawi will be held on August 17 and 18.
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai last week lodged a Constitutional Court application challenging President Robert Mugabe’s July 31 polls victory claiming the polls were rigged.
Mugabe won the presidential vote by almost 61%, while Zanu PF garnered more than two thirds of the parliamentary seats and insists the polls were free and fair.
Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salamao told a media briefing in Malawi yesterday that Zimbabwe would be on the agenda of the regional body’s summit. This is despite statements by Zanu PF that Zimbabwe would not be on the Sadc agenda and that mediation was no longer necessary.
Sadc Troika chair Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete is expected to submit a report on Zimbabwe elections.
Salamao, however, said he was yet to receive a copy of Tsvangirai’s court application.
MDC-T national spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told NewsDay that his party was in the process of forwarding the dossier to Zuma.
“We are also going to send representatives to present the dossier. We are sure Sadc will look at the information closely because they have already said they want to see the evidence of the allegations,” he said.
Though he could not confirm if Sadc had invited his party, Mwonzora said he was hopeful Tsvangirai would be invited.
According to the dossier accompanying Tsvangirai’s application, thousands of people were denied the opportunity to register as voters, traditional leaders and military personnel forced people to associate themselves with Zanu PF and many thousands were denied the right to vote.
“In addition, thousands of rural voters were forced to declare illiteracy and forced to be assisted by designated persons aligned to Zanu PF.
“The levels of tolerance across rural areas improved from 2008, but voters there were subjected to intimidation to force them to vote for Zanu PF,” Tsvangirai said in his dossier filed at the Constitutional Court.
Botswana President Ian Khama last week called for a forensic audit of the electoral process in order to see if there were any shortcomings and, or irregularities that could have affected the poll outcome.
“There is no doubt that what has been revealed so far by our observers cannot be considered as an acceptable standard for free and fair elections in Sadc. The community, Sadc, should never create the undesirable precedent of permitting exceptions to its own rules,” reads part of statement issued by his government.
“The Government of Botswana hopes, therefore, that at the next Summit of Sadc Heads of State and Government, which is scheduled for later this month in Lilongwe, Malawi, this issue will be placed on the agenda.”
The Sadc Heads of State and Government Summit set for Lilongwe will deliberate on a wide range of regional issues including the appointment of a new leadership for the secretariat.