Hon. Minister Bernard K. Membe (MP), Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation delivers the final report on the Zimbabwe's elections that took place on 31st of July, 2013.
Hon. Membe has been the Head of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Electoral Observer Mission on behalf of the former Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Repulic of Tanzania.
Some members of Diplomatic Corps and other Senior Government Officials from both Tanzania and Zimbabwe were present during the delivery of the final report.
Membe delivers SADC's Final Report on the Zimbabwe’s Elections
By Tagie Daisy Mwakawago
“We want to reiterate again that the harmonized elections of the 31st of July were free and expressed the will of the people,” said Tanzania Foreign Minister Bernard K. Membe earlier today while delivering the SADC final report on the Zimbabwe’s Elections.
He further explained that President Robert Mugabe won the elections with flying colors, despite the media polarization and the delay of voters roll.
Minister Membe was speaking at a press conference that was also attended by cabinet ministers, representatives of political parties and members of the diplomatic corps who had gathered at the Rainbow Towers Hotel and Conference Centre in Harare to witness the delivery of the SADC Election Observer Mission to Zimbabwe final report of which he was a Leader.
This SADC final report comes after the preliminary report issued on the 2nd of August 2013, which was issued by Minister Membe on behalf of the then Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.
“As you may recall, the main message in the preliminary report was that the elections in Zimbabwe were free and peaceful,” explained Hon. Membe. Previously, the SADC observer mission for the 31 July elections judged the vote as free and peaceful, but had not yet commented on its fairness and credibility aspect until today.
The Minister arrived yesterday night in Harare International Airport, and was received by Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and other Senior Government Officials. The chief goal of the trip was to submit the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Electoral Observer Mission final report, based upon the presidential elections that took place on July 31st, 2013. Tanzania was a former Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation under the Chairmanship of His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Repulic of Tanzania.
“We were required as chair of the monitoring team of the SADC Election Observer Mission to deliver a report outlining the outcome of the process and also commending the nature of the elections,” said Hon. Membe. The report will be delivered today at 10 a.m. local time in Harare.
President Robert Mugabe had landslide won the elections with 61 percent of the presidential votes and 76 percent of the parliamentary seats, leaving behind MDC-T Leader Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai with 33 percent. The win extends President Mugabe yet another five years in addition to the already 33-year rule.
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangira’s MDC party had recently withdrawn a legal challenge to the elections, claiming the courts would not be fair.
Answering reporters questions regarding the fairness of the elections, Minister Membe said that the SEOM has put forth a wide range of recommendations that include the need for the state media to provide equal opportunity to all competing parties in future elections. “There must be a fair and balanced reporting,” highlighted the Minister.
On the issue of pirate tv and radio stations, Minister Membe strongly condemned the interference of the political process by broadcasters outside Zimbabwe.
Previously, the African Union Election Mission Head Olusegun Obasanjo, former Nigerian President called the Zimbabwe election as free and peaceful.
Meanwhile, the Southern African Heads of State and Government recently endorsed the Zimbabwe elections during the 33rd Summit in Lilongwe, Malawi and called for the lifting of the sanctions against Zimbabwe.
SADC had deployed 573 observers to monitor the Zimbabwe elections, whereby it endorsed the elections as free and peaceful and that it had wholly reflected the will of the people of Zimbabwe.