Chamisa’s SADC appeal bears fruit as Angola president responds

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ANGOLAN president Joao Manuel Goncalves has dispatching his foreign affairs minister to Zimbabwe to assess the situation in the country ahead of the watershed July 30 elections.

MDC Alliance leader and presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa confirmed the development at a campaign rally he addressed in Bulawayo Saturday.

The opposition coalition recently launched a regional diplomatic offensive aimed at helping put pressure on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) which is refusing to accede to demands regarding the printing, design and storage of the ballot paper.

Chamisa told supporters that the Angolan leader was sending his foreign affairs minister to Harare.

Angola currently chairs the defence, peace and security organ of the regional SADC grouping.

SADC’s mission follows that of former United Nations secretary general Koffi Annan who has been in Harare leading The Elders group of former world leaders.

Said Chamisa; “Most of you may have heard that the elders are around in the country.

“They requested to meet with us (and) we met with them after we had written to SADC regarding our concerns to ZEC.

“So, SADC has informed us the Angola has sent its foreign Affairs minister to appraise himself of what is really happening in the country.”

The MDC-T leader said his team would meet the Angolan minister on Monday.

“We are looking forward to giving SADC all the evidence concerning election rigging,” he said.

“We presented three key issues to the Elders. One of the issues is that of the ballot paper; we need a genuine ballot paper.”

He added; “I do not want what happened to my old man (Morgan) Tsvangirai to happen to me.

“I have sent my team to ZEC demanding that the ballot papers should be printed afresh even if time is not on our side.

“The least we are prepared to do is test (the paper) batch by batch.”

Sibangilizwe Nkomo

The rally was also attended by Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa and late vice president Joshua Nkomo’s son, Sibangilizwe.

Dabengwa said he has decided to back Chamisa after realising that a fragmented opposition cannot remove Zanu PF from power.

“My wish was to see a united opposition confronting Zanu PF during the elections but unfortunately that did not happen,” he said.

“I personally tried to mediate between Chamisa and Thokozani Khupe, but unfortunately that did not happen.

“However, I am backing Chamisa and I know he is capable of delivering change in Zimbabwe.”