MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s bid to lobby regional leaders to join him in condemning President Robert Mugabe’s victory in last week’s elections continues to suffer setbacks as more Sadc leaders this week showered the Zanu PF leader with congratulatory messages.
Tsvangirai has described the poll outcome as a “huge farce”, saying the whole electoral process was fraught with irregularities.
By yesterday, six countries in the 15-member Sadc grouping — among them South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia, Mauritius, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo — had endorsed Mugabe’s victory and pledged to support his administration.
Mozambican leader Armando Guebuza yesterday became the latest leader to congradulate Mugabe. “While wishing you good health and success in the discharge of your noble duties, Mozambique and Sadc will remain Zimbabwe’s partner in facing the new, many and complex challenges ahead,” he said.
South African President Jacob Zuma, who is also the Sadc-appointed facilitator in Zimbabwe’s Global Political Agreement, led the way on Sunday when he extended his congratulations to the veteran leader.
“President Jacob Zuma extends his profound congratulations to President Robert Mugabe on his re-election as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe following the successful harmonised elections held on July 31,” Zuma said in a statement.
He was followed by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete who in his congratulatory message said: “Under your able leadership, Zimbabwe has recorded tremendous socio-economic developments, despite some challenges.
Thus, we look forward for greater progress and prosperity for the people of Zimbabwe as well as your continued invaluable contribution to our region and the continent through the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the African Union (AU).”
Kikwete is the Sadc chairperson on Defence, Politics and Security.
Zambian President Michael Sata praised the way the polls were conducted describing the environment as free and peaceful.
Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba said: “The people of Zimbabwe have once again demonstrated their trust and confidence in the Zanu PF and your personal leadership.
We commend the people and political leadership of the Republic of Zimbabwe for having delivered free and peaceful elections as reflected in the reports of the Sadc Election Observer Mission and the African Union Election Observer Mission to Zimbabwe.”
But Botswana leader Ian Khama described the elections as unfair and called for an audit of the electoral process.