The United Kingdom has not discussed the recent elections in Zimbabwe with the Southern African Development Community though it has regular ministerial level discussions with its SADC counterparts, Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Lord Ahmad said yesterday.
He was responding to a question from Lord Oates who wanted to know what discussions they have had at ministerial level with their SADC counterparts regarding the recall of a number of opposition members of the Zimbabwe parliament and senators, following the August Harmonised Elections, which were judged by the SADC Election Observer Mission to have fallen “short of the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Electoral Act, and the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021)”.
Zimbabwe held its elections in August. The opposition Citizens Coalition for Change rejected the election results and is calling for fresh elections.
CCC is now, however, split following the recall of 15 Members of Parliament and 17 councillors by Sengezo Tshabangu who says he is the party’s interim secretary general.
The party says it has no such position and does not know Tshabangu. It accuses him of being an impostor sponsored by the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
Although the SADC Election Observation Mission pointed out a number of flaws in the elections it said any disputes must be resolved through the country’s legal system.
Responding to Lord Oates’s question, Lord Ahmad said: “We are in regular ministerial level discussions with our Southern African Development Community (SADC) counterparts on a range of issues, in Harare and across the region. We have not discussed the issue the Noble Lord raises with SADC counterparts.”