MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has criticised the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for failing to respect the will of the people and siding with repressive regimes to manipulate election results.
Speaking in an interview on the South African national broadcaster SABC on Sunday about the invitation by Zambian President-elect former opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema to attend his inauguration this Tuesday, Chamisa said:
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We want to see the will of the people being respected so that we do not have the elite (riding) roughshod over the citizens as we have seen in Zimbabwe, where people vote, but they are punished for voting.
We need to make sure that SADC plays its important role and not side with a club of those who would want to manipulate the will of the people, but to side with the people. Look at what happened in Malawi.
SADC had endorsed the Malawian election, but the institutions within Malawi itself invalidated the election because it was invalid.
We want to see the strong institutions coming in to support the citizens, the will of the people and the verdict that people would have given in a particular election.
Chamisa called for a democratic transformation process within SADC to ensure that it efficiently plays its role of defending the will of the people and guarding against manipulation of election results.
The opposition politician last week said he would draw inspiration from Hichilema’s win against Edgar Lungu in his bid to unseat President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is facing accusations of escalating human rights abuses.
But Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba has vowed that the ZANU PF leader will not concede defeat if he loses the upcoming elections.