Zambia police allows Zimbabweans to demonstrate against Mnangagwa’s inaguration as SADC Chair


10th July 2024

Wezhira Munya

(See attached letter)

The Zimbabwean diaspora in Zambia, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, and Zimbabwe will hold demonstrations in Lusaka, Zambia, from tomorrow until Friday (11th and 12th July 2024) against the inauguration of Zanu PF president Emmerson Mnangagwa as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson.

The demonstrators, organized under the banner of the SADC Citizens Democratic Society, are led by civic leaders and pro-human rights defenders, with Mr. Trust Ndlovu as the chairperson, Mr. Tangai Marufu as the organizer, and Mr. Peter Maphosa as the secretary-general.

Mr. Ndlovu stated, “During these two-day demonstrations, we are going to present SADC with a petition against Mnangagwa’s inauguration as SADC chairperson and demand that SADC address the issues surrounding the disputed 2023 harmonized elections in Zimbabwe, as well as the persecution of pro-Chamisa opposition figures such as Hon. Jameson Timba and 78 others.”

The majority of Zimbabweans believe that President Nelson Chamisa won the 2023 presidential elections but that Zanu-PF rigged the elections.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, regarded as a true democrat, has allowed the Zimbabwean demonstrations to take place. This strategic move by the demonstrators coincides with the 26th Ordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation (MCO), which will be held in Zambia on July 11, 2024. The MCO meeting will be chaired by Zambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Mulambo Haimbe, SC, MP.

In contrast, the Zimbabwean government has warned its citizens against demonstrating during the upcoming SADC Summit, scheduled for August 17, 2024, in Harare, Zimbabwe. The theme of the 44th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government is “Promoting Innovation to Unlock Opportunities for Sustained Economic Growth and Development towards an Industrialised SADC.”

The citizens’ demonstration is in response to SADC’s previous declaration that the August 23-24, 2023, general elections in Zimbabwe were not free and fair. The SADC Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM), led by Zambia’s former vice president, Dr. Nevers Mumba, issued a scathing Preliminary Statement highlighting various irregularities, including issues with constituency delimitation, delays in releasing the voters’ roll, restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression, high nomination fees, concerns about judicial independence, the presence of the Forever Associates Zimbabwe (believed to be a front for state intelligence), and biased state media coverage.

Despite these concerns, the Zimbabwean government is preparing for the upcoming SADC Summit, with the construction of hotels and 12 villas worth millions of US dollars to accommodate the SADC leaders, while the majority of Zimbabweans continue to struggle with poverty, high unemployment, low salaries, lack of electricity, water, and medication in hospitals, among other essential needs.

Zambia’s diplomatic fallout with neighboring Zimbabwe stems from remarks that Mnangagwa shared with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a recent visit to Russia, namely the accusation that the U.S. has been militarizing Zambia to consolidate power in the region and isolate Zimbabwe.


  1. The tribalist conman never allows Zambians to protest against him, yet is allowing foreigners to protest against their government. He is exporting chaos to our neighbours.

    I think he is an idiot. Period. There is no other explanation.

    Vote wisely in 2026.


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