THE presentation of the Sadc Election Observer Mission final report on the July 31 elections on Monday drew the curtain down on yet another sad chapter of Zimbabwe’s history of disputed polls.
Southern Eye Editorial
Sadc had a rather interesting take on the elections that opposition parties say were rigged.
The regional body appears to attribute Zanu PF’s victory to sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle for previous alleged past indiscretions.
Sadc representative and Tanzania Foreign Affairs minister Bernard Membe even went to the extent of saying Zanu PF would rule for another 100 years if the embargo was not removed.
What is curious about this statement is Sadc seems to have swallowed Zanu PF’s propaganda that only sanctions are responsible for Zimbabwe’s collapse.
Seom was also misled to believe that the so-called pirate radio stations were a problem in Zimbabwe, yet evidence on the ground shows that people are now relying on these outlets more than they do on State media.
It is also incredible that Sadc says these elections could not pass out as fair because State media did not give equal access to the candidates, yet it overlooks the relevance of these so-called pirate radio stations.
The observer mission also noted media polarisation in the country, advising that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must ensure that ZBC, the public broadcaster, should afford all candidates equal coverage.
Rather than addressing the symptoms, the regional observers could have sought to unravel the causes of what they perceive to be an unhealthy media environment in Zimbabwe.
Membe said Sadc would also approach the United States, European Union and Britain to ensure that sanctions are wholly removed, but we see serious hurdles there because an objective analysis of these elections shows that they were not conducted in a proper manner.
Anyone who endorses the conduct of Zimbabwe’s partisan security chiefs, as Seom did with its outlandish claims that the generals conducted themselves in a professional manner, risks not being taken seriously.
It is clear that Zimbabwe is back to square one because Sadc is clearly not ready or has no capacity to address the country’s problems whose root cause is an intolerant leadership that believes it has a divine right to rule forever.
Sadc could have just given Zimbabwe the proverbial long rope to hang itself.