Keep your dirty hands off SADC, it belongs to region’s liberation movements – Mutsvangwa tells Zambia, West

Christopher Mutsvangwa

WAR Veterans Liberation Struggle Affairs minister Christopher Mutsvangwa has blasted the West for trying to unseat the government using a “puppet” leader, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema.

Hichilema, the Southern Africa Development Committee (SADC) Troika chairman has come under attack by the Zimbabwean government after the bloc’s election observer mission’s chairman Nevers Mumba produced a damning report on the ‘flawed’ August polls.

Addressing the media in Harare Thursday, Mutsvangwa said the EU, United States, Britain and Belgium were using Hichilema to try and steal SADC from the region’s countries.

According to Mutsvangwa “the winner takes all” is the rule of an election, hence President Mnangagwa deserved to be the Zimbabwean leader.

“We want to remind Washington, London, and Brussels that SADC is a creation of the Southern African national liberation movements. lt is a product of the frontline states who were at the forefront of the struggle against apartheid, against minority, against settler rule and against racist imperial control from the Berlin Conference of 1884 in Europe.

“These are the people and organisations who created SADC and it is ours. They must keep their dirty hands away from our SADC. They cannot try to steal our organization and try to turn it against us. It is our organisation.

“They cannot use individual puppets to try to become leaders of the sovereign elected presidents of the constitutional republics which are SADC,” Mutsvangwa said.

He added that the “leaders Cyril Ramaphosa (SA), Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique), João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço (Angola), Samia Siluhu (Tanzania) and not some individual leaders (Hichilema) from Zambia who want to tell the Heads of State how to handle SADC issues. We do not accept that as war veterans of Zimbabwe.”

Mutsvangwa who is also the chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Vets Association said his organisation was reaching out to counterparts in the region to make sure SADC is not destroyed.

He hailed South Africa for sending its own observer mission led by ANC’s Fikile Mbalula to Zimbabwe “to come and see for themselves how elections were conducted.”

“Who can now say that SA’s delegation is secondary to what an individual from Zambia is saying under the mantra of SADC which does not belong to them?

“Mumba, SADC belongs to the national liberation movements, not to traitors of the liberation struggle. Keep your dirty hands from our SADC,” Mutsvangwa fumed.

Meanwhile, Hichilema convened a virtual meeting Wednesday which discussed Zimbabwe’s disputed harmonized elections that were condemned by regional and international observers.

The virtual summit, attended by Namibian President Hage Geingob, the leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisikedi and Tanzanian President Suluhu, also discussed the security situation in DRC.

In a statement issued by Zambia’s Foreign Affairs ministry, the leaders tabled the SADC Electoral Observation Mission report on Zimbabwe’s harmonised elections as well as other impending elections in the SADC region.

Zambia’s Foreign Affairs ministry said, “the values and principles that underpin the promotion of democracy and good governance are also the foundation of Zambia’s foreign policy.” – NewZim