Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
HEAD of the Sadc Election Observer Mission to Zimbabwe, Tanzanian foreign affairs minister Mr Bernard Membe arrived in Harare last night to deliver the regional bloc’s final report on the harmonised elections held on July 31. The report will be delivered at 10am today.The SEOM preliminary report was released on August 3, and described the polls as free and fair.
Mr Membe was welcomed at Harare International Airport by outgoing Foreign Affairs Minister Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and several senior Government officials.
Speaking on arrival at the airport, Mr Membe said the presentation of the final report was in line with Sadc principles and guidelines on elections.
“According to the regulations and laws that govern the elections of Sadc, we are required as chair of the monitoring team called SEOM – the Sadc Election Observer Mission – I am supposed to deliver a report outlining the outcome of the process and also commending the nature of the elections,” he said.
“So, we had 30 days that is until tomorrow (today) to make that report public. This is why myself as the head of the Sadc Election Observer Mission together with the Sadc secretariat we deliver the Sadc report on the July 31 election that was held here to the public. So, this is why we are here and the report will be delivered tomorrow (today) at 10:am.”
Sadc deployed 573 observers for the harmonised elections that also drew at least 20 000 local and international observers and hordes of local and foreign journalists.
All the countries and organisations that observed the harmonised elections have endorsed the polls as free, fair and credible, and a reflection of the will of Zimbabweans.
The only dissenting voices have come from the Western-funded Zimbabwe Election Support Network that was funded to the tune of US$5 million ahead of the elections, as well as the MDC-T’s traditional backers comprising of the United States, Britain and its dominions Australia and Canada; that however were not invited to observe the elections.
The African Union, Comesa, the African Caribbean and Pacific countries have since endorsed the elections as free, and fair.
At its last meeting recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the AU Peace and Security Council congratulated Zimbabwe and its political leadership for holding elections that conformed to AU principles as enshrined in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
The AU also called for the immediate and unconditional lifting of the west’s illegal sanctions regime saying it had brought suffering to the Zimbabwean populace.
Sadc heads of state and government who met for their 33rd Summit in Lilongwe, Malawi recently, also called for the lifting of the sanctions that have been condemned by Comesa, the ACP and Non Aligned Movement among other regional bodies.
President Mugabe and Zanu-PF convincingly won the harmonised elections with devastating margins.
President Mugabe romped to victory with 61, 09 percent of the vote to MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s 33, 94 percent with the other three contestants sharing the remaining 4.97 percent.
Zanu-PF also garnered a two thirds majority amassing 160 seats out of the 210 National Assembly constituencies to the MDC-T’s 49 with the remaining seat going to independent candidate Mr Jonathan Samkange who pitched for but failed to land the Zanu-PF ticket in Mudzi South to give the revolutionary party a crushing 76 percent dominance.
After factoring in 60 women’s quota seats elected by proportional representation of six for each of the 10 provinces, the final composition of the National Assembly comes to 197 seats for Zanu-PF, 70 for MDC-T, two for the MDC, and one independent giving Zanu-PF just under 73 percent of the total seats in the National Assembly but well over the two thirds majority of 180 seats.
Zanu-PF also dominates the local authorities after winning 1 493 wards against a mere 442 for MDC-T.