Zanu PF Slam Former Opposition Leader Appeals to SADC Over 2023 Election Results

Farai Marapira
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HARARE, Zimbabwe — Political parties and analysts have criticized former Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa’s calls for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to invalidate the August 23, 2023, election results.

Critics argue that Chamisa, who lost the presidential race to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, no longer represents the party under whose banner he contested.

Chamisa recently addressed the media in Harare, urging SADC to intervene in what he describes as “a governance crisis and leadership dispute.” His actions, however, have been condemned for potentially undermining the regional bloc’s reputation, particularly ahead of the 44th Summit of Heads of State set to be held in Harare in August.

Farai Marapira, Zanu-PF’s Director of Information and Publicity, dismissed Chamisa’s statements as “sensationalist politics.” Marapira emphasized that the elections are concluded, and the nation has moved on, now focusing on developmental issues.

Political analysts also criticized Chamisa, accusing him of misunderstanding SADC’s role in elections. They noted that SADC’s function is advisory rather than to nullify elections. Analysts urged Chamisa to engage in constructive political dialogue, suggesting he should consider participating in President Mnangagwa’s Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) platform, designed for losing presidential candidates to address their concerns.

Linda Masarira, leader of the Labour, Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) party, echoed these sentiments. She stated that Chamisa’s appeals to SADC lack legitimacy since he no longer leads the CCC, the party under whose name he contested the elections.

President Mnangagwa, who is set to become the incoming SADC Chair, won the 2023 elections with 52.6 percent of the vote, while Chamisa garnered 44 percent. Smaller political parties collectively received 3.4 percent of the vote.

Chamisa’s actions have sparked debate about the role of regional bodies in national elections and the importance of internal political dialogue. As the political landscape continues to evolve, stakeholders emphasize the need for a focus on development and constructive engagement.