PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is seeking to change the regional bloc’s statutes and guidelines following Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) election observer mission (SEOM)’s criticism of the recent general elections held in Zimbabwe.
Speaking on SABC, presidential spokesperson George Charamba argued that elections are a complex process, extending beyond a single-day event, and suggested that key decisions regarding the Sadc observer mission’s report should not rest solely with one individual overseeing a subsidiary body.
“When you have a process that creates a head of State, a government, that can create war and peace, does it make sense to leave one man in charge? We must use the weaknesses we have seen in this mission to set things right in Sadc,” Charamba said.
Writing on X (formerly Twitter), Charamba revealed that Sadc statutes might be changed next year.
“Those countries now look forward to Zimbabwe using its host and chair status to challenge this whole tradition of one leader who happens to chair an arm of a Sadc organ exclusively determining an observer mission to an electoral process of sovereign Sadc members,” Charamba said.
He added: “My hunch is that this might be changed in Harare next year. Which makes sense! You can’t leave so critical midwifery process to the whims of one leader, a process which can make or break peace in a country, which produces a whole President, a whole government, a whole Parliament of any one Sadc nation-State!”
Charamba’s utterances come at a time when plans to alienate former Zambian Vice-President and Sadc election observer mission head Nevers Mumba have reportedly backfired on Zanu PF as the regional bloc remains unapologetic over the SEOM report.
The SEOM report said last month’s harmonised elections were not free, fair and credible and did not conform to regional and international benchmarks.
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