The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat has clarified that it does not conduct elections in member states. In a statement seen by Pindula News, the regional bloc said that its role is to observe elections, report and make recommendations.
This clarification comes amid calls by Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), led by Nelson Chamisa for SADC to intervene to resolve the political deadlock which followed the 23 August 2023 harmonised elections. However, the SADC Secretariat reiterated that its role is strictly limited to election observation rather than conducting elections in member states. Read the statement:
SADC Electoral Observation Missions ONLY observes elections. SADC DOES NOT conduct elections in its Member States but observes them. We then make recommendations. Understand the role of SADC when it comes to observing elections. Our mandate is only to observe and issue a report.
The CCC has been urging SADC to pressure Zimbabwe into holding fresh elections due to alleged irregularities in the previous harmonised elections. The CCC expressed concerns about the perceived bias of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and called for an independent body like SADC, the African Union, or the United Nations to oversee a new election.
The Citizens Coalition for Change rejected the results of the presidential election stating that they do not accurately represent how the electorate voted. The party alleges collusion between the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the ruling ZANU PF party, accusing them of manipulating the results in favour of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
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