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Published: August 17, 2013
Mozambique’s President and outgoing SADC chairperson, Armando Guebuza has demanded that Zimbabwe’s elections dispute be tabled for discussions during the current SADC summit in Lilongwe.
This emerged amid denials in the local media reports which claimed that the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation said the Zimbabwe issue is not at all on the summit’s agenda.
President Jacob Zuma who has carried a SADC mandate to oversee political processes in Zimbabwe revealed Zimbabwe would be discussed at the summit which begins Saturday morning. He stated this as he arrived at Kamuzu International Airport in the Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, I don’t know yet the issues to be discussed so I can’t say anything now. But am sure there are several issues to be discussed it’s not only Zimbabwe,” said Jacob Zuma following reports by two Lilongwe based sources close to the summit.
But in a separate interview Zuma had also revealed he and other leaders had been expecting the elections to be merely free and peaceful.
“South Africa was appointed by SADC to facilitate in Zimbabwe starting from the previous elections. We were working for the election to be peaceful, to be free and I think that has happened but of course we will be receiving the report from those we had sent as SADC to monitor the election and I am sure they will give us the report,” Zuma said.
The SADC leaders’ meeting is expected to discuss and communicate on a wide range of regional issues including the appointment of a new leadership for the regional bloc’s secretariat.
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has dismissed the election results after which he obtained backing from Botswana President Ian Khama who has demanded SADC to order a forensic audit of the electoral process. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has withdrawn its legal challenge of the elections. Spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora says they didn’t expect fair treatment from the Constitutional Court on an appeal over elections that the electoral commission said President Robert Mugabe won by a large margin.