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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora