Sadc did not invalidate Zim polls: Ramaphosa
ELECTION observers from the Southern Africa Development Community did not invalidate Zimbabwe’s elections but merely pointed to challenges that will be addressed at the appropriate time by relevant authorities, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said.
President Ramaphosa, who is in the United States attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), told the South African Broadcasting Corporation that the challenges that were raised by various observer missions are not unique to Zimbabwe but have been recorded even in the US.
“If one looks at that report, it actually says there were challenges with regards to a number of things that have got to do with the election.
“Many countries throughout the world have such challenges; the United States is a prime example with regard to the last election. They (observers) have said in the report, as I read it, that certain things need to be improved. They have not declared the election as invalid, unfree, and unfair; they have highlighted certain challenges”.
President Ramaphosa said what the observers have is a draft report that will be submitted at the SADC next summit to be held in Harare around June next year.
“Where there is lack of transparency, they (observers) need to come up with the details and I would say, yes, let the details be put forward so that we can deal with them. So, we are waiting to receive that report at the SADC level so that we can deal with it because if anything, it was an interim report.
“So, once the report is put to the SADC body, we will then debate it and we will also hear representations from Zimbabwe as well as the SADC observer mission.”
Recently, the South African President called for a fair judgment on Zimbabwe’s electoral processes saying worldwide, elections can never be held and concluded without glitches.
He said most general elections not only on the African continent but the world over were marred by contestations and disputes among political parties and their candidates, so contestations in Zimbabwe should not be blown out of proportion.
“The issue of democratic elections, elections are quite messy most of the time. There is no real perfect election I can tell you that. This is the contestation amongst candidates and parties, and it often results in disputes and doubts and certain practices not being fully adhered to. It happens all over the world even in what we could say it’s a big democracy, America, I mean look what happened in the last election in America, those who claim that they are the best democracy in the world, it also happens to them,” said President Ramaphosa.
“So, let’s not really harshly judge the outcome of elections on our continent, I think the participants of the countries that go through these elections often say they listen very carefully to election observers and they pick up a lot of lessons, experiences and recommendations and advice, similarly that’s what would be happening in the most recent election on our continent which is Zimbabwe”.