Following Zimbabwe’s widely discredited 2023 polls, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has engaged the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to intervene and facilitate inclusive dialogue and assist the country to return to majority rule.
In a letter addressed to President Joao Lourenco, who is the current Chairperson of SADC, CiZC Chairperson, Peter Mutasa said the recently held harmonised elections in Zimbabwe failed the credibility test as expressed by various election observer missions.
Various observer missions including the SADC Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM), the African Union-COMESA Joint Electoral Observer Mission, the European Union (EU), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) among others discredited Zimbabwe’s August 2023 elections on the basis that they feel far short of local, regional and international guidelines on free, fair and credible polls.
“In light of that Your Excellency, we humbly request that your office diplomatically engages Harare to assist this country return to majority rule. The current “electoral coup” is not good for Zimbabwe, the SADC and the African Union.
As you might recall Mr President, the current administration took power in a putsch that ousted former President, Robert Mugabe in November 2017. We view the current ‘electoral coup” as related to a small clique of Zimbabweans wanting to capture the state and usurp the people’s sovereignty,” read part of the submissions by CiZC.
The letter was also copied to the SADC Executive Secretary, H.E Elias M Magosi, Chairperson of the SADC Panel of Elders, H.E Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and the Clerk of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Mr. Kennedy Chokuda.
In the letter, the CiZC reiterated the pivotal role that SADC should play in unlocking the Zimbabwean crisis which continues to have a spillover effect in the region. The organisation noted that the perpetual legitimacy crisis in Zimbabwe continues to stall economic recovery and sustainable growth.
According to CiZC, a SADC Extraordinary Summit on Zimbabwe is imperative.
“As a way ahead, Mr President, we kindly ask your esteemed office to cause a SADC Extraordinary Summit to meet and receive reports from all parties including our present government and us, civil society. The supremacy of the voices of ordinary Zimbabweans is our primary motive,” said CiZC.
The organisation also noted the need for SADC to ensure the protection of Zimbabweans against violation of their fundamental rights and freedoms especially in the post election context.
The CiZC is on record that Zimbabwe’s multi-faceted crisis requires an inclusive dialogue process facilitated by SADC.
Prior to the 2023 elections, the organisation expressed concern that the country was headed towards elections with predetermined outcomes and reiterated the need for a SADC facilitated all-stakeholders dialogue.
CiZC has continued with diplomatic engagements at the local and regional level with the objective of pushing for inclusive national dialogue in Zimbabwe.