By Staff Reporter
REGIONAL body SADC has finally congratulated President Emmerson Mnangagwa on his electoral victory, two months after the contested polls, with his Angolan counterpart João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço describing them as exemplary.
SADC had delayed extending its congratulations while awaiting their Election Observer Mission (EOM) to present a final report.
His description of the polls is however not in tandem with what SADC’s EOM pointed out during Zimbabwe’s August 23 and 24 polls.
The initial report highlighted massive anomalies which include delays in delivering voting material to perceived opposition strongholds, voter intimidation, vote buying, abuse of the judiciary and suppressed access to publicly owned media which was dominated by ruling Zanu PF.
Main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) whose President Nelson Chamisa managed 42% has maintained the election was rigged in Mnangagwa’s favour, a position held by numerous political analysts.
Speaking during a virtual SADC Extraordinary Summit Tuesday, Lourenço, who is the current body Chairperson said the manner in which Zimbabwe and Eswatini held their polls was a triumph for democracy.
“Allow me to congratulate President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe and His Majesty King Mswati III, the King of Eswatini, for the exemplary elections that were recently conducted in your countries,” said Lourenço.
“The tranquility and orderly manner in which they took place constituted a major victory for democracy and a significant contribution to peace, stability, and harmony among all living forces of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Kingdom of Eswatini.”
The Eswatini election is widely regarded as a farce due to King Mswathi III’s refusal to grant considerable power to Parliament. He is the only remaining absolute monarch in the world.