DA calls on international community to scrutinise Zimbabwe elections

Issued by Emma Louise Powell MP – DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
22 Aug 2023 in News

Tomorrow, 23 August 2023, the people of Zimbabwe will head to the polls to elect their government. All indications point to yet another ZANU-PF captured election.

The run-up to these elections has once again been marred by the jailing of opposition leaders, rife intimidation of opposition supporters, the weaponization of courts against opponents, a captured Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, and the passage of subversive anti-democracy legislation. Unfair coverage by state media, a lack of transparency, and interference by ruling elites in the timeous disclosure of the voters’ roll remain key stumbling blocks.

Reports indicate that the leading opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has had its campaign rallies arbitrarily banned. Opposition politicians such as Jacob Ngarivhume and Job Sikhala have been detained without access to fair trial.

It is clear that none of the previous election recommendations made by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), or the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) have yet been implemented. No tangible action has been taken by any regional bodies to intervene and mitigate against yet another stolen election.

The recent introduction of legislation such as The Patriotic Act now curbs the right of Zimbabweans to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. The Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) Amendment Bill will render oversight of the Executive by civil society almost impossible. Zanu-PF has not yet even published a manifesto – by all available indicators, they consider the election already won.

For two decades now, South Africa has been a net recipient of economic refugees from Zimbabwe fleeing a collapsed economy and health system. This has resulted in undue strain on our domestic resources and inflamed tensions within local communities.

Despite this, the ANC – as part of the African Brotherhood of Leaders – has failed to take any meaningful action towards ensuring that ZANU-PF are held accountable for their reign of terror. As long as the ANC government continues to protect the ZANU-PF regime, South Africa will continue to pay a heavy price.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on the international community to ensure that consequence management is urgently initiated where electoral irregularities are detected. We will be requesting Minister Naledi Pandor to provide a full report to the South African Parliament on all actions taken by her Department to monitor Wednesday’s election, as well as measures that have been taken to implement previous findings made by regional bodies on which our Country holds representation and influence.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at check.da.org.za