SADC is preparing to convene a meeting with Zimbabwean authorities and representatives of the SADC election observer mission to discuss the contents of a critical report on Zimbabwe’s recent elections. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa disclosed this during an interview with SABC while attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
According to the preliminary report from the SADC observer mission, Zimbabwe’s elections, which saw President Emmerson Mnangagwa return to power and Zanu-PF regain its parliamentary majority, were marred by irregularities and did not meet regional and international standards for credible elections.
Ramaphosa clarified that the SADC observer mission report pointed out challenges that needed to be addressed but did not declare the election invalid, unfree, or unfair. He likened these challenges to issues faced by many countries worldwide, including the United States in its recent elections.
The SADC report raised concerns about the lack of transparency and the failure of key Zimbabwean institutions to conduct themselves independently and transparently during the election. Ramaphosa emphasized that the report was an interim one and would be discussed at the SADC level, with input from Zimbabwe and the observer mission.
In his address to the UN General Assembly, Ramaphosa called for the unconditional lifting of Western-imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, stating that these sanctions also affected South Africa due to the burden of dealing with Zimbabwe’s economic challenges.
Ramaphosa’s approach to Zimbabwe has drawn criticism from both South Africans and Zimbabweans, with many expressing disappointment in his handling of the neighboring country’s ongoing crisis.
Source – zimlive