News / Africa

SADC Working With Zimbabwe Ahead of Election

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe jokes with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Harare, May 22, 2013.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe jokes with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Harare, May 22, 2013.
Peter Clottey
An official of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) says the regional bloc is working with leaders in Zimbabwe and other groups to ensure a peaceful general election.

“SADC is ensuring that as we go toward elections, Zimbabweans will be assisted, whichever way possible, to ensure that all parties agree and come together to a common ground to ensure that Zimbabwe holds a credible, free and fair election, at a time and date that would be publicly announced by the president [Robert Mugabe],” said Tanki Mothae, SADC’s director of Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation.

Mothae says his group is encouraged that political parties in Zimbabwe have agreed to take part in the July 31 election, despite their initial request for a delay of the balloting.

At a recent summit in the Mozambican capital, Maputo, regional leaders requested an election delay to allow adequate preparation time to ensure the vote is free and fair.

Mothae says a team of the SADC long-term poll observer mission has been in Zimbabwe since before the recent referendum, which led to the adoption of the constitution. He also says the observers are working with various groups and institutions in the run up to the vote.

“They have been very much engaged in Zimbabwe, interacting with different political parties, even before the referendum,” said Mothae. “The bulk of other observers will be in Zimbabwe, as soon as member states are ready, which is what we are waiting on now. The SADC Secretariat is busy trying to put up together a team that will go to Zimbabwe as the SADC poll observer mission.”

Mothae said he was hopeful that Zimbabwe’s electoral body will be ready to carry out a credible election despite the logistical difficulties.

“We are convinced that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is ready. The referendum was a test case, which they managed very well, and I think everybody was happy to see that under these illegal sanctions that Zimbabwe has been put under, they managed to pull through and the referendum was very well managed process,” said Mothae.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has often accused President Robert Mugabe’s rival ZANU-PF party supporters of using violence tactics as part of a strategy to intimidate and harass opponents in the run up to elections -- an accusation ZANU-PF has denied.

Mothae says the citizens also have a responsibility to ensure the election is peaceful.

“SADC is assisting and facilitating the electoral process in Zimbabwe, but everything is in the hands of Zimbabweans,” he said. “Zimbabweans are responsible people and they must take this responsibility to ensure that their electoral process goes on freely, without intimidation.”

The regional bloc appointed South Africa President Jacob Zuma as mediator to help resolve the challenges in the neighboring country.

The SADC and the African Union have been guarantors of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and rival Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s MDC that led to the formation of the unity government in 2008.

The GPA effectively ended the election dispute between the two main party rivals in Zimbabwe.
Clottey interview with Tanki Mothae, SADC’s director of Politics, Defense & Security
Clottey interview with Tanki Mothae, SADC’s director of Politics, Defense & Security i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: 2 Tanki
July 12, 2013 12:13 AM
Free fair and credible election, Tanki what is your real take on the 2008 Elections and the Land Seizures.? There were no illegal sanctions, your view is somewhat biased and indicative that "wordsmithing" is your game."Very well managed process". Please tell us whether the United Kingdom, America, France and the UN have been invited to send Observers.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid