Chamisa urges SADC to negotiate “peaceful Mnangagwa exit”

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By Idah Mhetu

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has urged the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) grouping to intervene and help resolve Zimbabwe’s election dispute.

Chamisa was speaking at a press briefing Monday ahead of Wednesday’s Constitutional Court hearing into his challenge against the results of July 30 presidential elections.

The MDC Alliance claims he was cheated out of victory by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) after polling 44.3 percent against incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 50.8 percent.

“To SADC you are our regional guarantor of peace, the custodians of prosperity and progress and freedom,” said Chamisa.

He said the regional grouping should help negotiate “a respectable and peaceful exit for President Mnangagwa”.

“This is the message I have for SADC, that please help us help the African continent and help us by making sure that you help us heal the divisions that are in the country.

“There is need for the people to start to be on a permanent path to cure the illegitimacy; to cure the crisis, the electoral stalemate that can only be done if SADC where to come in and start to help us negotiate a respectable exit for president Mnangagwa, a respectable exit for those who have been voted out.

“It is important to make sure that you have a hands-on approach on the Zimbabwean situation.”

The ruling Zanu PF party immediately hit back saying Chamisa had a weak case and thus trying to intimidate judges ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.

“It defies legal sense why a person who is an officer of the court seeks to make extra-judicial pronouncements while still making court submissions at the same time, and ahead of due process only two days away,” said Patrick Chinamasa, Zanu PF’s secretary for finance.

However, Chamisa insisted that he won the July 30 ballot and accused ZEC of manipulating the vote to help keep Mnangagwa in power.

He warned that the country economic turmoil would worsen if the electoral fraud was not addressed.

“Without change we will fall back again into intolerable poverty and suffering for the next five years,” said the opposition leader.

“Even in that case, if we don’t do it now, there is no guarantee that if we win again in 2023 those that are seeking to subvert your will are not planning to do it again.”

He added; “In the interest of our country, its people and the economy, ZEC must accept that it has played a divisive role in our politics.

“What was a clear and unambiguous victory has been muddied by partisan individuals in ZEC.

“I say to those in ZEC who were used as trojan horses, your country is aware of the pressure you were put under.

“You now have to help our country move beyond the crisis caused by the current leadership’s connivance with Zanu PF elements.”