Morgan Tsvangirai – Photo: zimbanewsonline
Harare, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe’s main opposition candidate in the 31 July presidential election, Morgan Tsvangirai, has sharply criticised the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for shutting him out of its last summit in Malawi.
He said he was denied the opportunity to expose the rigging allegedly perpetrated by President Robert Mugabe during the poll.
The local media Tuesday quoted Tsvangirai, who lost to Mugabe at the poll, as saying in an interview with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) that the regional bloc, as guarantors of the Global Political Agreement that led to the formation of an inclusive government after the previous disputed poll, failed to invite other parties in the government, but instead rushed to endorse Mugabe’s victory.
The SADC summit said in a a communiqué that it was satisfied with the Zimbabwe election, which it described as “free and peaceful”. It also called for the lifting of all forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe.
“Although we were aware the decision was predetermined, we wanted to use this platform to expose the extent of the rigging,” Tsvangirai said. “How do you close a chapter you have guaranteed without even asking the parties that are part of that
Though the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were not invited to the summit, Tsvangirai’s MDC sent its Vice President, Thokozani Khupe, to brief some SADC leaders on the election.
Tsvangirai had challenged the outcome of the election at the Constitutional Court, but he withdrew his petition last weekend, citing the non-availability of crucial vote material which formed the basis of his court challenge.