THE MDC-T has dismissed Sadc Observer Mission head and Tanzanian Foreign minister Bernard Membe’s recent endorsement of Zimbabwe’s elections saying the regional body is yet to produce a final report on the credibility of the July 31 harmonised polls.
On Monday, Membe presented what he said was Sadc’s final report in Harare, and described the elections as having been free, peaceful and generally credible in addition to being a reflection of the will of the people of Zimbabwe.
“On behalf of the outgoing Chairperson of the Organ of Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation, His Excellecny Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and on behalf of the entire Sadc Family, SEOM congratulates ZEC and the people of Zimbabwe for holding a free, peaceful and generally credible harmonised elections of July 2013 in which the will of the people was expressed,” Membe concluded this week.
But addressing a media briefing at the party’s Harvest House headquarters in Harare yesterday, MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti accused Membe of pandering to the whims of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF by purporting to endorse the elections while the truth is that Sadc observers are still to meet and produce a final report on the disputed elections.
Biti said his party had consulted South Africa and other countries which disowned Membe’s purported final report.
“We totally reject this report which is not a report of Sadc because the Sadc observers did not meet,” said Biti.
“We have consulted with South Africa and other countries I will not name and we are fully aware that this is not a democratic report. Sadc is a confused body because there is no substantive executive secretary.”
Biti said Sadc risked setting a dangerous precedent of allowing African leaders to “rape democracy” if they proceed to endorse a patently flawed electoral process which failed to meet any of the criteria set by the regional body in Mauritius in 2006.
“It is Zimbabweans who are crying now and next year it will be the Malawians. After all, we are reading reports that Malawi has hired Nikuv for its elections,” said Biti, alluding to the controversial Israeli company which stands accused of rigging elections on behalf of African countries.
Biti, who also accused Sadc of making a spectacular volte face between June 15 and July 31 after having initially insisted on the full implementation of reforms before elections, painted a gloomy picture saying Africa is regressing to the days of “tin-pot dictators” in the mould of Uganda’s Idi Amin and the Central African Republic’s Jean-Bédel Bokassa.