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Sadc mum on Alliance demand

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Regional power broker, Sadc, has not yet responded to MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa’s plea for intervention, three days before watershed elections in Zimbabwe, whose result already appears disputed before a vote is counted.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Chamisa last week wrote to Sadc chairperson and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting an extra-ordinary summit of the regional body to discuss what he described as the “Zimbabwean crisis”.

Ramaphosa acknowledged Chamisa’s letter, but the MDC Alliance leader later changed tact and, instead, began pushing for a meeting of the Sadc Troika on Politics, Defence and Security, currently chaired by Angola.

By yesterday, Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda said there had not been any movement, adding the opposition leader seemed to have resigned his fate to Zimbabweans.

“We have not received any update thus far. It means that the president (Chamisa), regardless of this, has made fundamental decisions to take part in this election. His view is that in the final analysis, the people of Zimbabwe are the final arbiter in this crisis,” Sibanda said.

Asked if this meant that Chamisa had shut the door on Sadc, Sibanda said the regional body still had time to work things out.

“As far as we are concerned, Sadc has time. There are still a few days to go and Sadc can come in and help, especially with resolving the issue of the ballot paper. We would want to test it even if it means at every batch,” Sibanda said.

South Africa’s International Relations spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya was not available for comment yesterday.

But Zec acting chief elections officer Utloile Silaigwana said the poll management body had actually gone out of its way to accommodate concerns from political parties, especially the Chamisa-led MDC Alliance.

“All political parties initially got the ballot paper before printing, then after printing, and they could have tested. We have also given them copies of the voters’ roll free of charge,” he said.

“Anybody who says they now want to test the ballot are planning to disrupt the electoral process and that will be in contravention of the Electoral Act.”

Asked why Zec could not allow political parties to randomly pick ballots for testing before Monday, Silaigwana argued this could cause shortages.

“We have printed ballots that tally with the number of registered voters at each polling station plus a 3% contingency. If we allow people to pull out ballots for the supposed testing, there could be shortages. One thing we must all remember is that Zec does not necessarily act in the interests of parties alone. It also acts in the interest of ordinary voters and, in our view, they are more important than anyone else,” Silaigwana told NewsDay.

“We have conducted our elections in accordance with Sadc guidelines, but for us to deliver a free and fair poll, we will need parties to behave. Even with the best referee, as long as the players are bent on disrupting the process, it would be difficult for anyone to deliver on their mandate.”

But MDC Alliance secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said Zec had failed in its mandate.

“Zec has been very poor. They have failed to censure Zanu PF for threats of violence, abuse of food aid and failure to stick to the law regarding the voters’ roll and ballot paper,” he said.

“On the face of it, this election is already flawed. It is now up to Zec in the remaining days to prove otherwise.”

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14 COMMENTS

  1. I feel it is a very big insult to to the sadc heard of states when you give them insructions of what needs to be done when they already have represantives of sadc observor mission on the ground. They are already communicating with their respective heads of state and deciding accordingly.

    • Well said SADC have their representative Chamisa should leave them do their job and stop telling them what to do.

  2. Chamisa ane dzungu kani…his style of politics is like that of SRC groups at varsities and unfortunately at this level it doesnt work. He might talk a lot and tweet a lot but i dont think that will land him the crown. Chamisa lacks proper advisors and he seems to always be in panic mode.

  3. Kwanzi the sample would cause shortages, vanenge vati vanoda mangani for that sample to cause shortages. Could 5 or 10 per polling station have such an impact, i dont know.

    • Yes there are 11000 polling stations and that would mean 110,000 samples that will equate to about 2% of the ballot paper and with a 3% contingency you will leave a contingency margin of 1% .This will surely cause a shortage.ZEC is right.

    • Chamisa is like someone running away from himself. Haana maadviser murume uyu, varikumunangisa dondo, Come Monday he will see the reality of life.

  4. God has already chosen the leader, stop insulting one another. On Tuesday there will be celebrations for others and mourning for others , that is the nature of elections.

  5. This is why SADC are uncharacteristically tight-lipped on the MDC Alliance’s illegitimate concerns, because besides being inconsequential, the-out-of-context demands are also ridiculously weird indeed.

  6. Chamisa seems to know that he is going to lose and now wants some reasons to cry foul . How do you expect SADC to just run after calls from every Jack and gill . The other problem is for you to call Chamisa president and he then thinks you mean president of Zimbabwe when he is only president of some minority party which is trying to look big because of calling other small minority parties to gang up against Zanu PF the bouncer .Chamisa is running around like a headless chicken . He runs to SADC and before he gets a response he runs to the SADC troika and i don’t know where next . This issue is about Zimbabweans , for Zimbabweans and by Zimbabweans . Come tuesday when you have your confirmation that you have lost the election .I wonder where you will run to .

  7. Too much emotions Farai J Nhire. Am sure you meant to say ‘head of states’. Keep your emotions in check mate. Who ever wins, the ordinary people like you and me will get nothing. Remember that. This applies to everyone commenting on this platform.
    Let’s go out and vote in peace Zimbabweans. Let us not be used by these politicians.

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