SA watchdog blasts SADC for endorsing poll

The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa recently blasted leaders of the regional Southern African Development Community and the broader African Union for their endorsement of Zanu (PF)’s “win” of last month’s disputed poll.

The watchdog said the process was laden with a plethora of undisputed irregularities and legal flaws witnessed before, during and after the poll.

It raised grave concern that the AU, the SADC and some of their member states had endorsed a “flawed electoral process, in which evidence of grave irregularities and severe legal processes is abundantly clear”.

“For example, the unavailability of an agreed voters roll in both formats to all contesting parties, biased and partisan voter registration, privatized public media by one political party, lack of independence by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, lack of impartiality and independence of the judiciary, limited participation of citizens through institutionalized fear,” said ACT-Southern Africa.

“This has weakened the value of electoral frameworks such as the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. It is a shame that these bodies have invested huge resources in setting governance standards, which they elect to disregard when it suits them.

“The SADC principles and guidelines are very clear that there should be full participation of citizens, existence of an updated and accessible voter roll, timeous announcement of the election date, non-discrimination in the voters’ registration, among other standards.” Hardly any of these requirements were fulfilled in the Zimbabwean election, where thousands of voters were turned away.

There was a lot of chicanery in the voting itself, where literate people were assisted to vote and Zanu (PF) supporters and pseudo police recruits were bussed to vote from one place to the other as there was no infrastructure to detect double voting. Videos were produced as evidence. “It is sad all the evidence is being disregarded,” said the organisation.

“We suspect that SADC is now tired of the Zimbabwean issue. So the absence of open violence was used as the only measure to give a seal of approval. To this end SADC and the AU have decided to dump Zimbabweans just like that,” it added.

In the past the Trust has recommended the disbanding of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, arguing that with the current leadership in charge, there would be no chance of a free and fair election.

Post published in: Africa News

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