HARARE – Bernadus Swartbooi, leader of Namibia’s Landless People’s Movement, has strongly criticized President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for their handling of Zimbabwe’s political affairs.
Speaking at a press conference in Namibia, Swartbooi accused Mnangagwa of being a “puppet of the Zimbabwean military.”
He particularly expressed disappointment in SADC’s lack of action in response to Zimbabwe’s recent political developments, including the controversial election in August.
Swartbooi highlighted that SADC failed to censure Zimbabwean authorities who verbally abused SADC’s own election observers when they released a report denouncing the election as fraudulent.
Swartbooi further criticized SADC for not taking a stand against the military coup that led to Mnangagwa’s ascent to power in November 2017.
He asserted that Zimbabwe “got away” with its actions without facing any suspension or condemnation from SADC or the African Union (AU).
The Namibian opposition leader also condemned President Hage Geingob for congratulating Mnangagwa on his election victory despite allegations of fraud.
The firebrand LPM leader argued that such actions deviated from Geingob’s constitutional responsibilities.
In his remarks, Swartbooi questioned SADC’s loyalty to Zimbabwe, noting that the country seemed to receive preferential treatment despite violating democratic norms and principles.
He specifically criticized SADC for sending election observers who later discredited themselves by failing to address Zimbabwe’s election irregularities adequately.
Swartbooi expressed support for the formation of a transitional authority in Zimbabwe to oversee its affairs and called for the expulsion of Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Namibia in response to the alleged election rigging.
These criticisms reflect growing concerns in the region and internationally regarding Zimbabwe’s political climate and electoral processes.
Zimbabwe’s political situation remains a contentious issue both within SADC and among international observers.