President Robert Mugabe continues to be inundated with congratulatory messages from world leaders, observer missions and multi-lateral blocs ahead of the 33rd Sadc Summit slated for August 17 following his landslide victory in the July 31 harmonised polls. Eleven out of 14 Sadc member states have so far wired in their endorsements and congratulations following President Mugabe’s re-election outright majority. The African Union, Comesa and UN have joined the sub-regional blocs in giving thumbs-up to Zimbabwe for holding successful polls.
Tidings of solidarity have also trickled in from Russia, China, Venezuela, Korea, Egypt, Malawi, DRC, Mozambique, Namibia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Lesotho, Eritrea, Benin, South Sudan and Saharawi, notwithstanding isolated reservations by Britain and Australia.
President Mugabe trounced four presidential contenders with a landslide 61,09 percent to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s 33,94 percent, with Welshman Ncube (MDC), Dumiso Dabengwa (Zapu) and Kisinoti Mukwazhe (ZDP) sharing a paltry 4,97 percent. Zanu PF won 160 National Assembly seats to MDC-T’s 49, with one seat going to an independent candidate.
Chairperson of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania is slated to present the Sadc observer mission’s final report on the harmonised elections, amid expectations that Zimbabwe would be officially struck off the Sadc agenda at the summit and South Africa discharged from its mediation task.
Out-going Sadc chairperson and Mozambican President Armando Emilio said: “Your victory and that of Zanu-PF in a landslide manner at the July 31 2013 harmonised and Sadc rules-based elections create the conditions for striking your great country out of the Sadc agenda, as a stand-alone political item.”
The 33rd ordinary summit of Sadc Heads of State and Government, which will be held in Lilongwe, Malawi, from August 17 to 18 and is expected to deliberate on a varied range of regional issues, chiefly the appointment of a new leadership for the secretariat as executive secretary Dr Tomaz Salamao is coming to the end of his second four-year term.
Sadc is also expected to lobby Western countries like Britain and the US to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe as part of a plan to help its economic recovery.
President Jakaya Kikwete said: “I have received with great pleasure, the news of your re-election for another term to lead the people of Zimbabwe. On behalf of the government and people of the United Republic of Tanzania and indeed on my own behalf, I would like to congratulate Your Excellency for this resounding victory.
“Indeed your re-election is a clear testimony of the confidence and trust the people of Zimbabwe bestowed upon you. Under your able leadership, Zimbabwe has recorded tremendous socio-economic developments, despite some challenges. Thus we look forward for greater progress and prosperity for the people of Zimbabwe as well as your continued invaluable contribution to our region and the continent through Sadc and the AU,” he said.
Namibian President Hifikepunye extolled Zimbabwe’s democracy for coming of age and said the achievement must be a launch pad for a regional anti-sanctions lobby.
“We commend the people and political leadership of the Republic of Zimbabwe for having delivered free and peaceful elections as reflected in the reports of the Sadc election observer mission and the African Union observer mission to Zimbabwe,” President Pohamba said.
“In light of the Sadc and AU observer missions declaring the elections as having been free and peaceful and the result representing the will of the people of Zimbabwe, Namibia calls on those countries that have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to respect the verdict of the people of Zimbabwe and lift those sanctions.”
Zambian President Michael Sata told President Mugabe: “Your victory signifies the trust and commitment that the people of Zimbabwe maintain in the Zanu-PF and your able leadership to continue the programmes and policies that will bring development to your country.”
Saharawi leader Mohamed Abdul-Aziz said: “This victory is not only for Zanu-PF and for the Zimbabwean people who sacrificed for long time freedom and dignity, but also for many other people who share the same principles with them like the Saharawi people who are still looking to breathe the breeze of freedom and independence as their country remains that last colony in Africa.”
Former South African president Mr Thabo Mbeki, who helped broker the Global Political Agreement in 2008, on Monday said: “The people of Zimbabwe have a right to self-determination. They have a right to decide what to do with their country and their future.
“There has been a worrying thing about the Zimbabwe elections, which is that there has been a very sustained campaign before the elections to discredit them before they happen. You could see it quite clearly.”
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro lauded the elections as peaceful and orderly and said his country remained committed to co-operating with Zimbabwe in pursuit of a multi-polar world.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “I am confident that this fully meets the interests of both Russian and Zimbabwean people, goes in line with promotion of stability and strengthening the security on the African continent. I wish you, Mr President, good health and every success in fulfilling your most important State duties.”
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan called on President Mugabe and requested that all persons and parties who oppose the conduct of the polls and the announced results to seek lawful redress as allowed by the country’s electoral laws and constitution in a statement by a special advisor to the president, Mr Reuben Abati.
Mauritian Prime Minister Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam expressed his hope that President Mugabe’s victory would usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for Zimbabwe.
“I seize this opportunity to reiterate my commitment to further strengthen the existing friendly ties between our two countries. I convey to you my best wishes for your personal well being and that of the people of your country,” he said.
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