Elections

 

Bernardus Swartbooi, leader of the Landless People's Movement (LPM), has called on President Hage Geingob to send back the Zimbabwean Ambassador to Namibia.

The LPM added its voice to that of various opposition parties in the SADC region that denounced the August 23rd and 24th Harmonised General Elections in Zimbabwe.

According to preliminary reports by SADC, the African Union, and several international election observer bodies, elections in that country fell short of several constitutional requirements.

Bernardus Swartbooi accused Zimbabwe's ruling party, Zanu-PF, of enjoying 'some sort of special treatment' from the SADC leadership.

The situation, he claims, has been longstanding.

He says SADC remained silent when Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe was removed from office in November of 2017.

"It was a clear coup; they even sent Kenneth Kaunda and others that confirmed that Mugabe was in military custody at State House and that the military was in charge. You could see it in Live Broadcast; the military was present at State House, having taken over every system of Zimbabwe's government. No suspension from SADC, no condemnation, no suspension from the AU; again, Zimbabwe got what it wanted and got away with it," he said.

Swartbooi further accused SADC of self-sabotage. He says the body has not taken into account its own report regarding the Zimbabwe elections, and the block's leadership continued to congratulate Emmerson Mnangagwa on his re-election.

"How do you send your own trusted institution, and this time, you discredit yourself for the sake of Zanu-PF? What have they done so uniquely for SADC to deserve this loyalty even at their own expense?"

President Hage Geingob was among the regional leaders who congratulated the Zimbabwean president on his win.

At the time, opposition PDM MP Maximalliant Katjimune wanted to know why Geingob was quick to congratulate Mnangagwa, despite damning reports over the polls from several election observer missions.

In response, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah explained that it is customary for a president to extend congratulatory messages to his counterparts all over the world.

Press Secretary at State House, Dr. Alfredo Hengari, when approached for comment, said that Namibia respects the sovereignty of Zimbabwe and that the elections in that country were done by the Zimababwe Electoral Commission, which is a competent body.

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Author
Emil Xamro Seibeb