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Namibian opposition leader claims Mnangagwa a “puppet of the military”

Outspoken Namibian opposition leader Bernadus Swartbooi has branded President Emmerson Mnangagwa a “puppet of the Zimbabwean military.”

Swartbooi who leads the Landless People’s Movement launched an attack on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for failing to do something about the Zanu PF regime and its countless acts of impunity including the 2017 military coup that brought Mnangagwa to power.

“There was a clear military coup in Zimbabwe,” the outspoken Namibian firebrand began.

“Zimbabwe was not suspended from SADC or from the AU for a coup that was committed; they went scot free and the military put its puppet, ED Mnangagwa as president.

“But it was a clear coup…no suspension from SADC, no condemnation, no suspension from AU, nothing.

“Again Zimbabwe got what it wanted, got away with what it was doing.”

Swartbooi described Mnangagwa’s re-election last month as “fraudulent and corrupt” and said SADC was also wrong to accept his coup in 2017.

He berated Namibian President Hage Geingob for “deviating from his constitutional responsibilities to allow another SADC country to break its own constitution and conduct fraudulent elections” when he congratulated Mnangagwa for winning the disputed poll.

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“The question we are asking is what is so special about Zanu PF that it can break every law in Zimbabwe, it can break every sense of what we understood to be semblance of democracy and not even a word of concern about violence preceding, during and post-election and not even a word of concern is expressed by our leaders.”

“SADC now literally goes into self-masturbation; how do you send your own trusted institution and this time you discredit yourselves, you mutilate yourselves for the sake of Zanu PF.

“What do we as SADC owe Zanu PF … what have they done uniquely for South Africa, for Mozambique, for Namibia, for Angola, for Botswana, for Zambia, for Tanzania, to deserve this type of utmost loyalty even at our own expense; where we now go and we mutilate SADC’s mission,” he said.

For the first time in years a SADC Election Observer Mission led by Nevers Mumba of Zambia condemned the elections recently held in Zimbabwe as not free and fair.

President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia, who is also the SADC Troika chairperson on Wednesday convened an Extraordinary SADC summit to discuss the disputed elections in Zimbabwe and the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The meeting was attended virtually by Namibian President Hage Geingob, DRC leader Felix Tshisekedi and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu.

In a statement, Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said the leaders tabled the SADC Electoral Observation Mission report on Zimbabwe’s harmonised elections as well as other impending elections in the SADC region and the security situation in DRC.

“The Summit will deliberate on the security situation in eastern DRC, updates of pledged critical capabilities for SADC Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SAMIDRC) and progress made towards deployment in the eastern DRC, particularly the revised indicative budget for the SAMIDRC.

“It is in Zambia’s interest to support efforts towards the SADC Mission in DRC in order to maintain regional peace and stability, a prerequisite for advancing intra-regional trade and investment, which are critical for socio-economic development,” read the statement.