HH will not change SADC stance on Zimbabwe polls


Renowned publisher and political analyst Ibbo Mandaza says the recent assumption of the SADC Troika chairmanship by Zambian leader and Zimbabwe opposition ally Hakainde Hichilema will not result in any major shift in how the regional body has played its hand on Zimbabwe’s disputed elections.

Zimbabwe heads for high stakes elections later this year with hopes of any poll based reforms long demanded by the opposition fading by the day.

The Zanu PF led administration, according to opponents, has instead been cherry-picking and rehabilitating laws that favour the ruling party’s ambitions to retain power.

In the wake of disputed polls marred by violence, Zimbabweans have often looked up to SADC to use its own statutes to police its delinquent member country.

Article 4 of the 1992 Windhoek Treaty states that “human rights, democracy, and the rule of law” are principles that guide the actions of its members.

Similarly, Article 5 commits member states to “consolidate, defend, and maintain democracy, peace, security, and stability” in the region.

Last weekend, regional leaders convened in Windhoek, Namibia, for the SADC extraordinary Troika Summit, which addresses regional security crises.

The crises in Mozambique and the Kingdom of Eswatini were on the agenda, but Zimbabwe’s electoral agenda was not.

Mr. Hichilema, who spent many years in opposition politics, stepped in for the first time since becoming Zambian leader, to assume chairmanship of the revolving post of SADC’s Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation.

This fueled renewed optimism among some Zimbabweans that SADC could change its softly approach towards Zimbabwe and revisit the implementation of electoral reforms recommended by local and international bodies in the post-2018 election period.

In an interview, Mandaza said the coming in of the Zambian leader will not result in any shift from SADC’s lukewarm policy towards the cycle Zimbabwe’s contested elections.

He said SADC is “historically and politically constrained from playing the kind of role especially that of an interventionist kind in the affairs of a fellow member state that is expected of it”.

“It is essentially an interstate organization, and therefore statist in orientation, almost impervious to and unable to deal with crises,” he said.

“Therefore, it’s unlikely that Hakainde Hichilema will dare act beyond the usual that has been expected of a member of SADC ever since its inception in April 1980. It would be good if he surprised us though.”


    • The headline of the story is fake. It should read “Publisher political analyst Mandaza says HH wont change SADC stance on Zimbabwe polls”

  1. The African Union, particularly leaders in the SADC Region, must know that economic problems that Zimbabwe is experiencing were created by the British Govt. Britain wilfully abrogated the agreement made at the Lancaster House where UK was obliged to raise money to resolve the land issues in Zimbabwe. UK’s treachery forced Mugabe to grab land owned by absentee white land lords. Britain reacted by conniving with USA to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe. The Brunthrst Foundation’s support for the opposition party is a coordinated ploy against Zimbabwe. This is a wake up call for ill-informed African leaders in that China is a world power ready to develop Africa.

  2. When it comes to elections, HH can’t be trusted to execute any positive reforms because he has never accepted any results of any elections in his political career. Even the one that he won he didn’t accept its outcome to the extent of allowing his Party to petition all seats won by his opponents. We expect Zambia to go through a sham election that he’ll preside over as President. His behavior in Kwacha and Kabushi and the appointments he’s made at the electoral body aren’t inspiring. Zimbabweans shouldn’t expect anything good from a person that has failed to improve the conduct of elections in his own country

  3. SADC is a useless organisation…………

    There is more poverty in the SADC region now than before SADC was formed……..

  4. In an ever changing geo-political environment anything is possible. In the last 20 years leadership has changed hands in most African states with a few exceptions such as Cameron or Rwanda. Similarly in Zambia some dismissed that HH would one day be Zambian leader and so will be Zimbabwe one day will have a leader from a different generation away from those that formed SADC. The stance of SADC will change to meet the changing environment in Southern Region of Africa. Then, it will surprise those with conservative outlook.

  5. SADC for what???????? That organisation is toothless, useless and non functional!!!!!!! Zambabweans never put hope in SADC or else do what you did to Mugabe!!!!!!!!

  6. Ba Lusaka times you are over censoring comments thereby not publishing important comments!!!!!!! Watch out you will lose popularity like Zambian watchdogs!!!!!!!!!!! So far you are no longer my favorite as before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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