THE African Union (AU) has declared that ‘all is okay in Zimbabwe,’ going against regional body SADC and other Election Observer Missions (EOMs) who heavily criticised Zimbabwe’s handling of August’s harmonised elections.
This is arguably President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s first win since EOMs revealed the polls had been conducted in an atmosphere not conducive for a free and fair election.
SADC, The Commonwealth, European Union (EU), Carter Center (America) and various local observers fell short of declaring the election a sham following questionable disbursement of voting material, including late delivery in perceived opposition strongholds.
Speaking on behalf of African Ambassadors Monday, Rwandan Ambassador to Zimbabwe James Musoni, who is the Acting Dean of African Ambassadors, said there was no crisis as had been portrayed by civic organisations and opposition political parties.
His comments came after Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Amon Murwira had briefed his team on the situation before, during and after the polls.
“So far Zimbabwe’s governing laws are serving the interests of the country. We think there is no crisis in Zimbabwe,” said Musoni.
“The briefing has been helpful to us in ensuring that we understand that the country is really stable.”
Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) President Nelson Chamisa, who according to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) came second on 44%, against Mnangagwa’s 52.6%, is already appealing to regional and continental stakeholders to solve what he has termed ‘a political and constitutional crisis within the country.’
Chamisa has suggested dialogue as the only way to solve it, a proposition the Zanu PF government is not entertaining.
He is also arguing that Zimbabwe needs fresh elections administered by an independent body, preferably the United Nations (UN).
“The next harmonised elections will be held in 2028. The Constitution of Zimbabwe does not expressly provide for a Government of National unity (GNU) or any election run by external institutions,” Murwira told Musoni’s delegation.
“ZEC is the only lawful body mandated to run our elections. Zimbabwe’s body politic provides for dialogue at all levels; in Parliament, before and after elections. The spirit of dialogue crystallised into the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) at which contesting parties and personalities meet regularly to engage in the national interest.”
Murwira proceeded to dismiss arguments by Chamisa that the Zimbabwean government had political prisoners or that his supporters were being targeted in a series of harassment and intimidation.
Former Member of Parliament (MP) Job Sikhala has spent over a year in remand prison without trial, while Jacob Ngarivhume who leads Transform Zimbabwe party and activists from the militant Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) are also locked up.
The AU now stands as the only body, besides quasi security Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ), to have given a stamp of approval to Zimbabwe’s situation, post elections. – NewZim