US warns Zanu-PF over “dangerous” threats directed at SADC mission
The United States government has warned Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF regime against attacking the Southern African Development Community (SADC) representatives who discredited as not free and fair, the harmonised general elections held last week.
Zimbabwe held elections on 23 and 24 August which resulted in the incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa winning under controversial circumstances with 52,6% against main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa’s 44%.
CCC, however, rejected the result accusing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of rigging massively in favour of Zanu-PF and Mnangagwa.
International observers including SADC contended that the plebiscite was not free and fair owing to a number of irregularities surrounding it.
Some of the anomalies articulated by SADC represented by Nevers Mumba include, keeping the final voters roll secret, opening polling stations late especially in opposition strongholds like Harare and Bulawayo, ignoring delimitation boundaries and allowing Zanu-PF aligned shadowy organisation Forever Association of Zimbabwe (FAZ) to intimidate voters.
In response to SADC, Zanu-PF through its spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa accused Mumba of interfering with Zimbabwean laws.
“Mr Nevers Mumba from Zambia, we call you to order. Don’t delve into the laws of Zimbabwe. If you have issues, tell your relevant institutions to take it up with the SADC secretariat,” he said.
Mumba was also accused of fronting western regime change agenda.
Commenting on the Zimbabwean situation, Matthew Miller, the US State Department’s spokesman urged the southern african country to resolve the conflict peacefully.
The US is also engaging SADC over the issue.
“The United States is engaging regional leaders to share our concerns, including what this means for the international community’s nascent efforts to reengage the Zimbabwean government.
“There is much at stake for the people of Zimbabwe and the region.
“We urge all Zimbabweans to remain peaceful and pursue grievances through established legal channels,” Miller said in a statement.
Miller added: “….. threats directed against members of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission are dangerous, and we call upon the Government of Zimbabwe to cease these inflammatory and unacceptable attacks.
“These actions belie President Mnangagwa’s repeated pledges to respect rule of law, transparency, and accountability,” said the department.