Press Statement by Ian Davidson
04 August 2013
South Africa’s DA party MP Ian Davidson says President Jacob Zuma has failed Zimbabwe by congratulating Mugabe on his ‘stolen election’ victory. Davidson said Zuma should call for a meeting of SADC heads of state to discuss the very serious concerns that have been noted in this election.
Davidson’s comments come after one of Zimbabwe’s election management commissioners Mkhululi Nyathi resigned in protest over the way the elections management body had conducted the July 31 harmonised elections.
By congratulating Robert Mugabe on his stolen election, President Zuma has failed Zimbabwe, failed Zimbabweans and failed the Southern African Development Community by not providing the leadership that the region desperately required.
President Zuma’s congratulations are not only extremely premature, given the very serious irregularities that have been noted in the elections, but shamefully legitimises undemocratic practices during elections, and sends a message that significant irregularities will be tolerated by his administration.
Both observer missions and civil society noted serious irregularities with the voters’ roll and voting process. Parties were denied timely access to the roll and the roll itself was clearly flawed. The DA’s observer also saw people being allowed to vote with registration slips which opens up the process to abuse and fraud.
I will request that President Zuma provide Parliament with all the reasons for why he is recognizing the elections results, including whether he has applied his mind to all the evidence.
I will also ask that President Zuma exercise leadership in SADC by seeking an urgent meeting of all heads of state to discuss the very serious concerns that have been noted in this election.
The bottom line is that President Zuma has failed Zimbabwe. Instead of taking a tough stance at SADC to ensure that reforms such as free media and a change in the security apparatus were in place and that Zimbabweans were ensured a free and fair democratic election, especially in his position as facilitator of the monitoring group of the Global Political Agreement, Mr Zuma has allowed Mugabe to get away with a farce of an election.
Statement issued by Ian Davidson MP, DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, August 4 2013