Sadc to tackle July 31 poll dispute

The MDC-T will send a dossier containing alleged election irregularities to South African President Jacob Zuma ahead of the Sadc Heads of State and Government summit scheduled for next week.

Report by Staff Reporter

The summit will be hosted by Malawi on August 17 – 18.

Tsvangirai last Friday lodged a Constitutional Court application challenging President Robert Mugabe’s July 31 poll victory, which he claims was “rigged”.

Mugabe won the presidential vote by almost 61%, while his Zanu PF party garnered more than two-thirds of the parliamentary seats and insists the polls were free and fair.

Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salamao told a media briefing in Malawi yesterday that Zimbabwe would be on the agenda of the regional body’s summit.

This is despite statements by Zanu PF that Zimbabwe would not be on the Sadc agenda.

Sadc Troika chair Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete is expected to submit a report on Zimbabwe elections. Salamao said he was yet to receive a copy of Tsvangirai’s court application.

MDC-T national spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said his party was in the process of forwarding the dossier to Zuma.

“We are also going to send representatives to present the dossier,” he said.

“We are sure Sadc will look at the information closely because they have already said they want to see the evidence of the allegations.”

Though he could not confirm if Sadc had invited his party, Mwonzora said he was hopeful Tsvangirai would be invited.

According to the dossier accompanying Tsvangirai’s application, thousands of people were denied an opportunity to register as voters, traditional leaders and military personnel forced people to associate themselves with Zanu PF and many thousands were denied the right to vote.

Botswana last week called for a forensic audit of the electoral process in order to see if there were any shortcomings or irregularities that could have affected the poll outcome.

The Sadc summit set for Lilongwe, will deliberate on a wide range of regional issues, including the appointment of a new leadership for the secretariat.

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