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SADC will not intervene in Zimbabwe’s electoral dispute – says Hwende, vows to resign if regional body ever ‘helps’ opposition

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 By Darlington Gatsi


CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Chalton Hwende says the country should not hold its breath over the intervention of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in the disputed 2023 elections.

This contradicts CCC’s former leader Nelson Chamisa who is “pressuring” SADC to assist the country in addressing last year’s general elections which were flagged by the regional bloc’s observer mission.

In a recent statement, Chamisa said he had been writing letters to SADC to intervene in Zimbabwe’s political deadlock stemming from the disputed polls that gave President Emmerson Mnangagwa another five-year mandate.

Speaking in an X space, Hwende, a close ally of Chamisa, said that no intervention would come from the regional body stating the matter is a closed chapter.

“We met the executive secretary of SADC. We went to meet the executive secretary in Botswana and during the same meeting, I then raised the issue of Zimbabwe to say we are waiting for you in Zimbabwe because we think according to your report the elections were a sham, it was rigged and you need to come and help the country to resolve that issue and they all laughed including the executive secretary.

“A whole country can not wait for a SADC that is not coming. They said that the case is closed and we are not coming to Zimbabwe. At that time they were claiming they had not received a letter and I knew advocate Chamisa had written them a letter but this is the contempt these bodies have for opposition politics,” said Hwende.

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He added: “There is no SADC that is going to come. I am willing to put my head on the chopping block. If you ever see SADC can force an election in Zimbabwe I will resign as a politician.”

Since delivering its final report on Zimbabwe’s election, the regional body has been mum on the country’s politics.

SADC is preparing for its 44th Head of State summit which will be hosted by Zimbabwe with President Mnangagwa assuming the chairmanship of the regional bloc.

Hwende said the country should introspect, saying the onus is on the citizens to pressure the government in implementing political and electoral reforms as enunciated by observer missions that observed the plebiscite.

“SADC spoke very well. Their report is very clear that the elections did not meet the expected standards that are expected. That to me is as far as what SADC can do. It is now up to Zimbabweans to organise ourselves and enforce that resolution from SADC.

“SADC has no history of ever ordering fresh elections anywhere else it will have to start in Zimbabwe but the preparations that they are doing to install Mr Mnangagwa to be a chairperson of SADC clearly shows you that there is no appetite in SADC to go beyond their report.

“To them, their work is done. The biggest challenge we have is we are afraid of organising ourselves and demanding our own rights that are enshrined in the constitution that is why everyone is hiding behind SADC. There is no SADC that is going to come. I am willing to put my head on the chopping block. If you ever see SADC can force an election in Zimbabwe I will resign as a politician,” said Hwende further.