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Civil society petitions Sadc Troika over poll reforms

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) — a conglomeration of more than 80 civil society organisations in Zimbabwe working for democratic change — has engaged the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security to urgently look into the Zimbabwean crisis ahead of the 2018 elections amid indications Mnangagwa’s regime is refusing to comply with tough rules established by regional leaders to ensure free and fair polls.

In the letter, which was also copied to the Sadc executive secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax, the coalition implored the Troika to ensure the upcoming 2018 polls in Zimbabwe meet the Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

The letter explicitly stated that the current government in Zimbabwe, led by Mnangagwa, lacks legitimacy as it came in through a military coup disguised as “Operation Restore Legacy”.

“While Zimbabwe is set to hold elections during the second half of 2018 we raise key concerns around inadequacies on the part of the Zec to administer a credible
electoral process. The involvement of the military and traditional leaders in elections remains unaddressed.
“Based on pronouncements by the current government, there are valid fears that the  2018 elections will be highly militarised and traditional leaders are continuing on a partisan path to influence electoral outcomes in violation of Section 208 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which bars the former from engaging in partisan politics,” read part of the letter.  DailyNews