MDC-T to approach SADC Chair over “erroneous” endorsement of polls: Tsvangirai

MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, today said his party would be approaching the Southern African Development Community to register their displeasure over the recent endorsement of the July 31 elections by the regional body.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai

Tsvangirai is on record claiming that the just ended Zimbabwe polls were a farce. He cited a chaotic voter registration, shambolic special vote exercise, fake voter slips, bussing of voters and a high number of assisted voters.

Yesterday, the SADC Electoral Observer Mission endorsed the poll outcome which they said reflected the will of the people of Zimbabwe, drawing the ire of the MDC-T.

Tsvangirai revealed his party’s intentions today at Chikurubi Maximum Prison where he had paid a visit to the MDC-T Deputy National Chairperson, Morgan Komichi, who is facing allegations of vote fraud as well as two other activists, Last Maengahama and Solomon Mapanzure who were arrested on charges of murdering a police officer in 2011.

“We will be visiting the Chairperson of SADC and the Chairperson of the Troika just to say perhaps you arrived at this conclusion erroneously. We cannot stop engaging SADC over this issue,” said Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai bemoaned that the final SADC report on Zimbabwe’s elections was more of an amplification of Zanu (PF’s) propaganda.

In his address yesterday, SEOM Chairperson, Benard Membe, made reference to the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe in 2002 the height of human rights abuse which he said had made the two MDC formations unpopular among the electorate.

Said Tsvangirai: “How do you talk about sanctions and that we have been campaigning for them and that is why we lost.”

He said that SADC, by endorsing Zimbabwe’s election outcome, had largely compromised on their set standards and guidelines concerning the conduct of democratic elections.

“The final report is not different from the initial endorsement. In Maputo, SADC was clear that reforms were necessary and secondly SADC has its own guidelines and we have been waiting for it to see if our elections conform to these set guidelines,” said Tsvangirai.

He dismissed chances of a political uprising by his party saying “we do not act with motion but with conviction”. With regards his incarcerated party members, Tsvangirai said “their spirits are high” although he said their long incarceration and the charges being leveled against them were a serious cause for concern.

“The charges they are facing put a very serious dent on our justice system. We hope our lawyers will succeed in securing bail for them,” said Tsvangirai.

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