Tsvangirai takes poll fight to Sadc

HARARE - MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is taking his poll grievance to southern African leaders gathering tomorrow in Lilongwe to review elections in Zimbabwe, amid high tension between President Robert Mugabe and the former.

The summit of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (Sadc) in the Malawian capital comes two weeks after Mugabe was controversially declared winner of July 31 election, a victory immediately rejected by Tsvangirai, his former partner in an expired coalition government and his main political rival.

Mugabe won 61 percent of the votes in the July 31 polls as compared to Tsvangirai’s 34 percent.

The 89-year-old leader argues that his re-election was free and fair, but Tsvangirai, 61, has challenged the elections results which he claims were “fraudulent and stolen”.

The MDC leader is demanding a fresh election, saying the vote did not meet the Sadc’s minimum standards for a fair vote, was held in the absence of reforms of the media and security forces required for a free and fair vote, and was rigged.

Regional leaders must decide whether Mugabe election was free and fair, a move that effectively breaks an agreement brokered by the bloc after violent and disputed elections in 2008.

Yesterday, Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary general, told the Daily News that the MDC would “definitely be there in Malawi” to present its case of alleged election fraud.

MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said the ex-majority party will find a way of presenting its evidence to Sadc even though they were not invited to the summit.

“The MDC will present its dossier of evidence detailing vote rigging was done by Mugabe to Sadc,” Mwonzora said. “Whether we will be allowed into the summit or not, the MDC is going to present its compelling evidence. We are going to set the record straight. It is Sadc that said they want the evidence, so we are going to take it to them.”

By yesterday, it was not clear whether Tsvangirai himself would fly to Malawi as his aides indicated that they were still to get finer details of the summit.

“I am not sure of other people but vice president Thokozani Khupe will certainly be going,” Mwonzora said.

“I am not sure now whether (MDC) president Tsvangirai will go, but he is certainly going to be represented.”

But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the MDC was trapped in a time warp and should not pin its hope on Sadc which he claimed has washed its hands off Zimbabwe.

“Let us get out of the election mode because it is over,” Gumbo told the Daily News.

“Sadc is not going to discuss Zimbabwe’s elections, the facilitator has already indicated that he is done with Zimbabwe so let us move on and concentrate on what we can do to develop our people and their welfare.”

Tsvangirai’s poll challenge, which has been set for a hearing in the Constitutional Court tomorrow has delayed the Zanu PFstrongman’s inauguration.

South African president Jacob Zuma, Sadc’s pointman in the Zimbabwe dialogue, has said he was still seized with the Zimbabwean crisis, rejecting claims that the summit will officially put an end to his mediation mandate in Zimbabwe.

“The presidency has noted inaccurate media reports to the effect that ‘president Jacob Zuma is expected to tell his fellow regional leaders at a summit in Malawi this weekend that he has accomplished his mission in Zimbabwe’,” Zuma said in a statement.

“The story goes on to speculate that president Zuma would tell regional leaders at the Sadc summit that ‘they should relieve him of his job as facilitator and they are likely to agree with him.’

“We wish to clarify that should president Zuma or the south African government have any position on Zimbabwe, such information is communicated directly through to the Southern African Development Community, Sadc, or publicly when necessary.

“The presidency distances itself from this rumour and rejects the utilisation of gossip and rumour to communicate a serious matter as South Africa’s mediation role in the neighbouring Zimbabwe.”

Botswana’s president Ian Khama has called for an audit of the poll result, saying there were a number of anomalies noted by the Sadc observer mission.

Sadc and the African Union have indicated that the elections were free, an endorsement that is being disputed by the two formations of the MDC, western nations and most NGOs operating in Zimbabwe.

Over 30 NGOs drawn from Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe are lobbying foreign ministers to impress on the regional leaders the need for a fresh election in Zimbabwe.

The power sharing deal five years ago gave birth to a fractious unity government that nevertheless managed to stabilise the economy after nearly a decade of decline and hyperinflation, but has ended in acrimony amid accusation of vote rigging.

Comments (16)

The MDC and its allies should realise that SADC has no mandate over a sovereign state,they are not for any african gains but the western agenda,Botswana,SA and all those NGOS who survive on the bread crumbs from the west should just shut up ,so does it mean if MDC had won then elections would have been fair,stop wasting ZIMBABWEANS TIME and get your facts right,You foreign sponsered papers and your allies are evil ,you hate your own country just for the dollar,TSVANGIRAI has himself to blame,he is foolish,sex addict,stupid,

carradine - 16 August 2013

Bones will be tested SADC ,AU ,Concourt

Mhandu - 16 August 2013

Well done Zanu Pf. Let these idiots dream and dream until they can dream no more. Save vakabhutsurirwa muna save river

makombe makombe - 16 August 2013

@ why has SADC all along been meddling in Zim's affairs then?

Semhalo - 16 August 2013

This is just the beginning,we are giving them a benefit of doubt,We are saying we zimbabweans we want something Peaceful at the expense of the Minority ZanuPificians, Just watchout we are going there if unresolved. Revolution is coming

taurai - 16 August 2013

@makombe, I can see that you are equally a thief by profession. Watch and see for the day of reckoning is fast approaching

ATZ - 16 August 2013

the elections were not about age of aspiring candidates to be elected, it was about what an individual candidate is offering to the voters. Here l see this reporter wanting to make us read much on age of contestants. The regional leaders will rely on SADC observers report not on MDC, l just wonder who is advising them to waste precious time, money and effort on obvious outcomes. lnstead they must work on resurrection from the dead for 2018.

sekemutema - 16 August 2013

Go on to SADC MR prsident but what - never stop mobolising everyone of your supporters everytime you visit other countries ask to meet all zim citzens divided nation will never successed but who told you that those staying outside must not exercise their right to vote please never use short cuts.

dofo - 16 August 2013

@ ATF u r a prophet of doom

bones - 16 August 2013

Hapanana chamunobura apa marombe avanhu asina brain a divided nation will never successed if you can not unity the nation do no waste your time hapana chinobuda ose manyepo how many people with degrees selling air time………. pfutseki wenyu Mazwa

dofo - 16 August 2013

If the reforms had been implemented then the vote rigging would not have taken place. If Mugabe had dared to do so then an independent ZEC, Police, Supreme Court, etc. would have ensured that the evidence of the rigging was amassed and justice was done. Tsvangirai had five years to implement reforms and not even one reform was implemented. There is no reason why MDC failed to implement the reform other than his sheer incompetence!

Wilbert Mukori - 16 August 2013

Wilbert how about the newly adopted constitution which Zanu Pf failed even to adhere to? Tsvangirai has been calling for reforms to be implemented for a long time. Despite the short commings of Tsvangirai It was SADC's responsibility to pin down the belligerent behaviour of Zanu Pf to abide by the GPA.

Steven Mugadze - 16 August 2013

Some people are just after criticizing Tsvangirai without thinking.All along he has been calling for reforms but zanu and its machinery did not listen.I think that's where SADC was supposed to intervene at every summit it held since the the start of the GNU.As a regional block which wanted fairness they should have asked each party what it had done towards implementing reforms.Tsvangirai could not fight a war with zanu when reforms were set to avoid a crises.

chimwango - 16 August 2013

chimwanga do you think tsvangirai thinks at all?? what reforms??? hanti the constitution shld adress that? its aprocess not event!

mwana wevhu - 17 August 2013

This was purely a Zhanu PF election without SADC guidelines & principles for a democratic election. All rules and regulations were broken. It's a SHAME, time and money wasted!!!

Martin K - 17 August 2013

the challenge with us zimbabweans is that we do not want to take responsibility of our lives. we dwell too much on the blame game

jean phillipe tamba - 17 August 2013

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