Tsvangirai blasts Sadc

HARARE - MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai says the Sadc election observer mission has failed to live up to its set guidelines for free and fair elections.

He said the observer team produced a “saddening” report that is “factually wrong”.

Tsvangirai told journalists after visiting his incarcerated chief elections agent Morgen Komichi at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison yesterday that the report released by the Bernard Membe-led Sadc election observer team endorsed an election that fell short of the regional bloc’s own minimum standards for a free and fair election.

“The final report is not different from the initial endorsement of the elections,” Tsvangirai told reporters outside the prison.

“What I fail to read in the report is first and foremost that in Maputo, Sadc was very clear that certain reforms and processes were key if free and fair elections were to be conducted.

“And secondly, Sadc has guidelines; they don’t even mention whether our elections passed the test of those benchmarks, they don’t even make that reference.”

The former prime minister, who lost the hotly-contested July poll to his bitter rival President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party, said he was not happy with the manner the regional body conducted itself in Zimbabwe elections.

“I am actually disappointed because certain narratives reflect a Zanu PF narrative,” he said. “For example, how does an observer talk about pirate radio stations? How do you talk about sanctions and that the opposition is campaigning for sanctions that is why they lost the elections? I think there is nothing new, they have endorsed.”

Speaking in Harare on Monday at the presentation of the Sadc observer mission’s final report on the July 31 elections, Membe said opposition groups should call for the lifting of sanctions, warning Zanu PF would be difficult to remove if the measures remained in place.

“Let me tell you this passionately from my heart, and if there are opposition leaders here and if there are opposition people in this conference you know this question of sanctions must be fought by all parties,” Membe said.

“To tell the world to remove the sanctions because if you don’t it’s very difficult for the opposition to win elections. As long as sanctions are there this Zanu PF will prevail for 100 years to come if you hear me.”

The  MDC leader said he will continue engaging with the regional bloc even though he does not expect any changes with regards to its endorsement of the polls. He said he was eager to  have facts known.

Sadc deployed 600 observers countrywide for the July 31 vote. The Sadc report issued on Monday “endorsed” the outcome of the election, but Tsvangirai said it was expected given that they had already endorsed the result in their preliminary report.

He said by referring to the issue of sanctions and pirate radio stations, which had nothing to do with the manner in which the last elections were prepared and conducted; the Sadc observer mission leader “was certainly reading from a Zanu PF script.” He said he would launch a formal complaint with Sadc and the African Union (AU).

Tsvangirai said he was aware of the crisis of expectation from the people Zimbabwe, whom he said had their “victory stolen”. He cautioned that dealing with a the current regime required time, patience and resilience, adding that the MDC would continue with the democratic means to bring change in Zimbabwe.

He said the biggest mistake Zimbabweans could make was to give up the struggle for political change, adding he would soon consult with the people of Zimbabwe on the way forward.

Tsvangirai was visiting Komichi who is incarcerated at the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison on charges of contravening the electoral law.

Senator Komichi was arrested in July after he handed to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) a special vote ballot paper which had been picked from a dustbin at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) in the last election.

Tsvangirai said it was absurd that instead of prosecuting Zec officials for negligence, they were instead incarcerating Komichi for exposing the irregularity.

“It is strange that they chose to incarcerate Komichi instead of Zec for its negligence in the election,” said the MDC president.

He took opportunity to visit the remaining four Glen View 29 accused Last Maengahama, Yvonne Musarurwa, Simon Mapanzure and Tungamirai Madzokere. He said he was encouraged to see them in good spirit.

He said the four including Komichi gave him words of encouragement to continue with the struggle for a new democratic dispensation.

“I was quite touched and encouraged to hear them say, ‘president do not give up, let us continue with the fight’,” Tsvangirai said.

Comments (17)

The ex Prime Minister and now failed political leader Tsvangirai should not worst his time on SADC issues as his views are now worthless. Zimbabwe will be party of the SADC troika for the next three years. As for Komichi, I feel that he should be set free as he has learnt his lesson not to involve himself in mindless political games. Regrettably for him he could not vote for his party. At the end of the day his family will suffer as the MDC-T will not provide for his family.

Rabison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 4 September 2013

Iwe siya vanhu vatonge you shot yoursel in the foot by insulting everybody inluding your supporters . Remeber Rusape.

pf - 4 September 2013

Well I am hardly competent to comment on the fairness of the poll but I am a tad taken aback when the SDAC observer mission chair will not pronounce on the fairness of the poll..and saying opposition should campaign for removal of sanctions is adding raw insult to injury..why should the opposition be burdened with this? Further more is our good friend Mr. Membe not straying from his brief which was just to pronounce on the fairness of the poll and not prescriptions for opposition ref sanctions.

gutter poet - 4 September 2013

Mukuru haasiye bhachi padare. Idzi dzangove nyadzi dza Morgan. Panozopera 5 years anenge asisina relevance in Zim politics especially after project 2016

FIGO - 4 September 2013

Morgan Tsvangirai has failed to radically reject the election which he has deemed null and void, By now if he had done adequate action he should be incarcerated or he should be threatened with incarceration.

TINOTENDA MUNYUKWI - 4 September 2013

When relevancy is totally lost in a report, then one wonders if there is any fact to pick from such a report. There is no relevancy in commenting about the removal of sunctions by the whiche is not on the terms of reference of the SADC's obsever mission.

Ziziharinanyanga - 4 September 2013

To hell with SADC this is a useless committee. SADC leaders were said to be stupid by R.G. This is the only language MT should use they will also change their report. Shame! How can they be intimidated by ..... On the other hand Zulu was told that she was a street woman and she kissed R<G like she has never been kissed b4 then she lost her mind. This is juju right from the deep of the ocean

Zvigodii - 4 September 2013

Morgan Tsvangirai is very thick. But he is not the only duffer. All the MDCs are full of duffers. The MDCs cannot complain about rigging when they were very much aware the thugs called war veterans had been moving from village to village intimidating chiefs and headmen. When told about Jabulani Sibanda Tsvangirai dismissed it and instead told people to “pray for Jabulani” and that was the end of it. What I find very astonishing is MDCs complaining about rigging when they were fully aware the military, police and militias were going to actively participate in the running of the mock elections. Did the MDCs honestly think they would win against the military assisted by the police force and militias? Are the MDCs unaware that ZanuPF is a military dictatorship? Tsvangirai is fooling himself and his blind followers that they might do something in 2018 because they will not win against a military dictatorship. There's no way civilians can defeat the military assisted by the police and militias. Tsvangirai is wasting political space.

Chin - 4 September 2013

SADC if it powerful as it claims to be on declaring and dictating on Zimbabwean people what to do then it should call off the sanctions. These leaders are fake they are benefiting from funding from the same countries they purport to be cruel and they want to destabilize Zim so that they continue to benefit alone including funds for Zim. Zuma, God is watching out you want you and your friends to blow that R8 bn without Zim. What goes around comes around. If you do what you did in Zim there .........................

zvigodii - 4 September 2013

Chin my brother one thing you should note is that MT is a prayer warrior and a peace loving citizen. If he had boycotted the election he was going to be arrested and rot in jail for defying court ruling. His supporters by now could have been scattered like sheep without shepherd. MT has never said the elections were going to be free and fair he said "whoever is going to win this election is not going to be free and fair" One can rig the election but you cannot rig the economy and bring food on peoples' tables. Everyone is waiting for the promises. Mark my words God had a purpose to allow the elections to be rigged. Your life has been saved by that.

Zvigodii - 4 September 2013

Its really sad. But every fool has their day. ZANU PF's day will come.

James - 4 September 2013

@Zvigodii - what nonsense! Who told you if Tsvangirai had boycotted the election he would have been arrested? Which court ruling are you talking about? You don't understand the situation. It is better that you keep quiet. Let you educate on the situation. MDC-T could have boycotted the election and nothing would have happened. OK. Whoever told you that Tsvangirai would have been arrested was telling you a load of lies. I repeat - MDC-T could have boycotted the election and nothing at all would have happened to anyone in MDC-T. You are mixing up the Constitutional Court ruling dismissing Tsvangirai's petition to declare the election null and void and the Court ruling upholding Mugabe's proclamation for election on the 31 July 2013 which the MDC-T would have BOYCOTTED if they so wished and nothing would have happened to anyone in MDC-T including Tsvangirai.

Chin - 4 September 2013

One sentence in my last comment should read, "Let ME educate YOU on the situation. MDC-T could have boycotted the election and nothing would have happened.

Chin - 4 September 2013

Stop confusing pple with maheadlines enyu as if it changes anything, him denying it doesn't mean a thing..........Ask urself kuti why Zanu insisted on elections from last yr Oct knowing kuti 3/4 yavanhu inosupporter MDC. Hey u don't need pple's support first u need God's support. Chitobvuma kuita VP or else u are going kuBuhera ku 07, sanctions even urself u have seen kuti can not help in regime change, think of Iran,Russia???? Its u take the offer or u leave it and I doubt if you can one day becoz paintellectual ability naMugabe u are a child and even if u had won u were still going to ask for tips from them, have forgoten the billboard pictures used by Zanu for campaigns? You are power hungry and u are inspired by your aspirations Zanu offials to accumulate riches just imagine the riches ur officials have accumulated for e past 5 yrs

usaswera uchinetsa vanhu - 5 September 2013

Interesting observations. First, SADC has clearly shown kuti it is intimidated by Z-PF, the organisation just needed any sick excuse to get rid of Zimbabwe (interesting to see ho the Madagascar lections will pan out) secondly, It is a blessing that the elections came out the way they did. Interesting how we would boast that China observed and stamped the elections as free and fair. Who has ever voted in China?

Jabulani Kwenda - 5 September 2013

Now Tsvangirayi. you have insulted the AU Chairwoman, The Tanzanians,The Service Chiefs, Mugabe,Namibia, Mozambique , the traditional Chiefs, the war Vets,etc. everybody is wrong except you?

Chidhoma - 8 September 2013

Why does Tsvangirai display his foolishness. if conditions were not meeting SADC, why did he participate. So that if he loses he would cry foul? what if he won? was he going to cry foul? I agree with other writers that he has failed and so he must pass on the batton of leadership to other young people in the Party who might have better ideas for dealing with the current Government.

nosbert - 9 September 2013

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