The leader of Build One South Africa (BOSA), Mr. Mmusi Maimane, has challenged the ruling party, African National Congress (ANC), and government to support the findings made by the SADC observer mission and “to call for a new election in Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission on Saturday declared President Emerson Mnangagwa the winner for another five-year term after observers condemned the country’s election which the Southern African Development Community (SADC) proclaimed to be marred with irregularities.
“What is the root of the problem, the diagnosis of the disease is rigged elections in Zimbabwe. 2002, 2008, 2018 and now 2023. The SADC observer mission clearly said that there were issues with access to media, blocking of rallies, FAZ, ballot paper delivery and the voter’s roll. This cannot be considered in any shape or form to be a free and fair election,” Maimane wrote on the X social networking platform.
He noted that as Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner in the region and as the country most affected by “democratic failure” in Zimbabwe, South Africa must not remain silent.
“There comes a time when we have to stand with the people and stand on principle. This is the time,” the leader of BOSA added.
Maimane challenged President Cyril Ramaphosa not to hide behind arguments about national sovereignty.
“We cannot allow abuse of human rights, electoral cheating and undemocratic norms in the name of sovereignty. Your government stands with the people of the Sahawari region but keeps quiet when it comes to the people of Zimbabwe. This is logically unsound and not consistent,” he pointed out.
Mnangagwa from the ruling Zanu PF received 52. 6% of the vote while his rival, Nelson Chamisa, of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), came second, winning 44%.
Zanu PF also won 136 seats in the National Assembly. The CCC received 73 seats, a portion that denies the ruling party a two-thirds majority with which Mnangagwa could amend the country’s Constitution.