Sadc ignores Zim opposition protests

HARARE - Southern African leaders on Sunday endorsed the re-election of veteran President Robert Mugabe, brushing aside a campaign from Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC who said the July vote was rigged and its results should be overturned.

The decision by the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (Sadc), which helped broker a power-sharing deal after disputed elections in 2008, clears the way for Mugabe, 89, to be sworn in as early as this week for a fresh five-year term.

“The summit congratulated his honourable Robert Mugabe for winning the election in Zimbabwe,” a South African Foreign ministry official said.

At its meeting in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, the group also named Mugabe, Africa’s oldest leader, as its deputy chairperson and said it would hold a summit next year in Zimbabwe’s capital.

Unlike the Sadc and the African Union observer missions, which broadly endorsed the vote, the preliminary assessment by the leading domestic observers’ body called the election “seriously compromised”.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) said registration flaws may have disenfranchised up to a million people out of 6,4 million registered voters.

“We were not expecting Sadc to immediately tell Mugabe to call fresh elections, but we are going to continue lobbying, while at home we apply various forms of political pressure to achieve democracy,” spokesperson for the Movement for Democratic Change, Douglas Mwonzora, said.

The MDC on Friday withdrew a court challenge against the re-election, saying it would not get a fair hearing. It sent delegates to Lilongwe to raise its objections.

Lawyers said the Constitutional Court was expected yesterday to formally accept the MDC’s withdrawal application, paving the way for Mugabe to be sworn in for a new five-year term.

Under the Constitution, a president has to be sworn in within 48 hours of the Constitutional Court decision.

Political analysts said outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been careful not to speak about street protests, fearing a crackdown on his MDC leadership by Mugabe’s security forces.

Former colonial power Britain had urged Sadc to look carefully at accusations of fraud in last month’s poll and said it was disappointed opposition parties had withdrawn its legal challenge.

Britain, the United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions against Mugabe and senior Zanu PF leaders for human rights violations and suspected vote rigging and suspected rigging of previous elections. — Reuters

Comments (6)

Viva Mugabe. Southern Africa cannot and will not ruled by trators of the west those want to impose their puppets on us. Please MDC pay back the west money you will never rule Zimbabwe. Jason.

jason Johannes - 20 August 2013

Britain, the formal colonial ruler of Zimbabwe, was disappointed by the result as it wanted its preferred candidate namely the puppet Former Prime Minister Tsvangirai lost dismally. What is clear is that Britain treats African organisations such as SADC and the African Union with utter contempt and disdain and expect African leaders to embrace their views as sacred. To the British, the Americans and the Australians, Tsvangirai was their ordained savior of their interests ,As for the British, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11's representative in Zimbabwe, Ambassador Bronnert was behaving as an angel of mercy. The Ambassador's behavior is totally disgusting

Rabison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 20 August 2013

Shame on Botswana the only country in sadc want zimbabwe election to be investigated. we understand your possition in sadc becouse you never fought or suffer for your indipendence, Again it is the only country in sadc without first lady.

jason Johannes - 20 August 2013

SADC is an organisation full of heartless leaders in exception of KHAMA from BOTSWANA how dare they go to a summit with half baked reports of a rigged election & endorse MUGABE as a winner before his own courts had finalised the election challenge,In other ways SADC had their prefered candidate before the elections so MDC was played in all this thing,The evidence of irregularities is there for them to analyse and come to a fair judgement but they prefer to ignore all and endorse a stolen election that is why AFRICA will never be at peace if we have such leaders,you wonder what these people smoke when going to these meetings of SADC.

CASHTALK - 20 August 2013

SADC is an organisation full of heartless leaders in exception of KHAMA from BOTSWANA how dare they go to a summit with half baked reports of a rigged election & endorse MUGABE as a winner before his own courts had finalised the election challenge,In other ways SADC had their prefered candidate before the elections so MDC was played in all this thing,The evidence of irregularities is there for them to analyse and come to a fair judgement but they prefer to ignore all and endorse a stolen election that is why AFRICA will never be at peace if we have such leaders,you wonder what these people smoke when going to these meetings of SADC.

CASHTALK - 20 August 2013

This is a big joke and not the first of a kind in Africa. As African, we once gave Idi Amin Dada, the the OAU chairmanship; Witherto Africa? Only God knows, because things are now getting out of hand; now it's a national holiday for inauguration, something that hasn't occurred in our history. A reminder, how Sierra Leone once celebrated independence to the extent of wiping out their national budget...

nemburungwe - 21 August 2013

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