SADC Engages Chamisa to Resolve Zimbabwe’s Electoral Dispute

Chamisa and Mnangagwa
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HARARE – Engagements are currently underway between the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and embattled former opposition politician Nelson Chamisa to address the electoral dispute that arose from the August 2023 elections, according to exclusive information obtained by NewsDay.

Chamisa, who contested against President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the election and lost, has refused to recognize Mnangagwa’s victory, alleging electoral fraud. This marks the second time Chamisa has disputed election results, the first being in 2018.

The official results, announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, declared Mnangagwa as the winner with 52.6% of the vote, while Chamisa secured 44%.

Efforts by Chamisa to engage Mnangagwa directly regarding the electoral dispute have been unsuccessful, leading him to seek intervention from regional bodies like Sadc.

Sources within Sadc have confirmed that Chamisa has been in correspondence with the organization since last year, seeking its assistance in resolving the dispute. Following a recent follow-up letter sent by Chamisa, Sadc has indicated that it is considering his case and forwarding it to relevant Sadc structures.

Chamisa’s letter expressed the urgency of the matter, citing pressure from citizens who are relying on Sadc to address the political crisis in Zimbabwe.

While Sadc officials have not provided official comments on the matter, Chamisa emphasized the importance of resolving the dispute peacefully and transparently. He highlighted the need for legitimacy in Zimbabwe’s governance and reiterated the call for fresh elections to ensure credibility and integrity.

Chamisa emphasized that the resolution of the electoral dispute is not only crucial for Zimbabwe but also for Sadc’s credibility as a regional body committed to upholding democratic principles.

Efforts to reach Sadc representatives, including head of communication and public relations Barbara Lopi and executive secretary Elias Magosi, for comments were unsuccessful at the time of reporting.

Chamisa remains committed to pursuing peaceful dialogue and political settlement to address the electoral dispute, stressing the importance of ensuring democratic processes and outcomes for the people of Zimbabwe.