Sadc boss on Zim elections

Source: Sadc boss on Zim elections – Sunday News Oct 22, 2017

Harare Bureau
AFRICAN countries have ample capacity to conduct elections and are justified to bar intrusive Westerners from observing their polls, Sadc Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax has said.

In a wide-ranging interview with Zimpapers Television Network at Sadc Headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana last week, Dr Tax also said the first fruits of Sadc’s industrialisation strategy — initiated by President Mugabe — would be seen within two years as value-chains take root across Southern Africa.

Responding to a question on Western criticism of Zimbabwe’s 2013 harmonised elections, Dr Tax said: “If you go by that, then all elections on the continent won’t be credible. Elections in the region are observed by the African Union. Elections are observed by Sadc and other partners.

“For us, as Sadc, we are part of the African Union, and if it is very clear that our conclusions and African Union conclusions are the same, then we believe that we did our job. Would it happen that we have differences in terms of conclusions, then it will be an issue of concern.

“We don’t know what their measures are. We don’t know what their criteria are. We don’t know how they do it, so I cannot align myself with something which I am not part to.”

Dr Tax said it was time Africans took charge of their systems and gained confidence in their capabilities.

“When you go to elections, you have to explain how you want to do it because elections are not about interfering with internal processes. There are instances, I am not going to mention a country (it’s within Sadc), where one of our external partners wanted to be part of the counting process.

“And they wanted to even count before the Electoral Commission Board. They wanted to go a step further to put their own instrument. Now, are you observing or you want to be part of the internal processes? We don’t go and interfere in internal processes . . . even if you are not sure about the system, which is being used, ask and get an explanation.”

On economic growth, she said: “In Sadc, we have micro-economic convergence criteria. We have agreed that for us to measure whether an economy is moving in the right direction, GDP should not be below (a particular level), inflation should not be higher than (a certain point) and debt-sustainability should not be below this, and we are within those ranges.

“The only thing that I may admit that it is still a challenge is that yes, we are seeing economic growth but the economic growth has not translated to addressing poverty, which, for us as a region, is our ultimate objective.

“What we need to do and are doing now is to understand that if economies are growing, as assessed via the micro-economic indicators, why are we not addressing poverty to that level? And that is what we are now busy trying to see.”


  • comment-avatar
    Ndonga 5 years ago

    Just another useless Sadc appointee spouting anti Western propaganda…does she honestly believe that what is happening in Kenya right now is correct.

    And when she gets rid of the “Wicked West” where will we find help?

    We all know that Mugabe has retained his power by cheating and violence and he will try and do these same things again next year.

    And Sadc will sit on their hands as usual…

  • comment-avatar
    Gwenyambira 5 years ago

    The ignorance of this crinkey haired species, this dark mellamaine skinned mammal is astounding. Yesterday you used to sell your best young men and women to us in exchange for cloth and sugar. Today, you give them to us for free – oh – in exchange for “diaspora remittances” simply because your “leaders” are the same “leaders” of yesteryear.

    When is Africa going to be prosperous? When are you primitive people going to become humans for a change? That woman is singing for her supper, a lucrative Seg General post!?

  • comment-avatar
    Remedio Fernandes 5 years ago

    Tes Africans must take charge of their own affairs but with integrity. This has not been evident certainly not in Zimbabwe at [revious elections.