Hichilema chairs SADC summit on Zimbabwe election, DRC crisis

SADC Troika chair and Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema convened an Extraordinary SADC summit to address Zimbabwe's recent general elections and the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

HARARE – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika chair and Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema convened an Extraordinary SADC summit to address Zimbabwe’s recent general elections and the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The virtual summit was also set to include Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who is the incoming chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense, and Security Cooperation, as well as Namibian President Hage Geingob and DRC leader Félix Tshisekedi.

Among the key agenda items was the discussion of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) report on Zimbabwe’s harmonized elections and other upcoming elections in the SADC region.

The Zambian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation emphasized that the promotion of democracy and good governance aligns with Zambia’s foreign policy values and principles.

South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa and his Zambian counterpart Hakainde Hichilema posing for a picture after holding bilateral talks in March 2022.
FILE: South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa (right) and his Zambian counterpart Hakainde Hichilema (left) posing for a picture after holding bilateral talks in March 2022.

Zimbabwe’s recent election results, which saw incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa reinstalled with a disputed 52.6 percent majority, were followed by a critical SADC observer mission report.

The report identified irregularities and concluded that the election did not meet SADC and international benchmarks for free and fair elections.

However, the SADC summit may not produce significant outcomes regarding Zimbabwe’s political situation, as the regional bloc lacks the authority to order a rerun or reconstitution of elected leadership in member countries.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa noted that the SADC report highlighted challenges observed during the Zimbabwean election but did not declare it invalid, unfree, or unfair.

He compared the situation to challenges faced by many countries during their elections, including the United States.

The summit’s discussions will shed light on the SADC’s stance on Zimbabwe’s recent elections and the regional approach to addressing electoral irregularities and promoting democracy.

RosGwen24 News
RosGwen24 News
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