via Zim elections were rigged: SACBC | The Zimbabwean from Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference.
Regional church leaders this week distanced themselves from a recent statement attributed to them on last month’s Zimbabwean elections, believed to have been rigged by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party.
The Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, which has for years advocated for democracy in Zimbabwe, went to condemn the manner in which the Zimbabwean poll was conducted, joining voices of widespread concern that the election was held below democratic methods.
This came just days after the SACBC was quoted as having given its thumbs-up to the process that gave way to Zanu (PF)’s two-thirds majority in Parliament, but said this week it was not party to that.
“The voting at Zimbabwe’s election was free fair and peaceful though there are allegations that the registration and the voters’ roll were tampered with,” read a statement that had been attributed to the SACBC’s delegation that had been sent to monitor Zimbabwe’s elections.
This team was led by Bishop Joe Sandri MCCJ and the director of the Denis Hurley Peace Institute, Father Sean O’Leary. However, the SACBC distanced itself from the statement this week.
“The SACBC has made no report nor statement on the elections in Zimbabwe. The article was based on the report of the Denis Hurley Peace Institute (DHPI) compiled by Fr Sean O’ Leary,” said the organisation in a statement, before it condemned the recently-held poll.
“The DHPI believes that elections are not just an event but a process consisting in registration, voters’ roll, voting and counting,” said the SACBC in its assessment of the elections.
“According to the DHPI report, the voting was free, fair and peaceful, but there were serious flaws on registration and the voters’ roll was rigged.”
The SACBC is a coalition of clergyman from Southern Africa, comprising Catholic Bishops from Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland.