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Mnangagwa’s Inauguration Snubbed by SADC and AU Leaders as Election Fraud Claims Persist

Mnangagwa’s Inauguration Snubbed by SADC and AU Leaders as Election Fraud Claims Persist

4 September 2023

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Harare – In a surprising turn of events, leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) have opted to send ministers instead of attending the inauguration ceremony of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. This decision comes amidst growing concerns and allegations of election fraud by international observer missions.

The inauguration, which was scheduled to take place today at the National Sports Stadium, was expected to be a grand event, with leaders from various African nations in attendance. However, the absence of high-ranking officials from SADC and the AU has raised eyebrows and cast a shadow over the legitimacy of the recent elections.

The observer missions, which included representatives from the European Union and the United States, have raised serious concerns over the conduct of the elections, citing irregularities and lack of transparency. These claims have been echoed by opposition parties and civil society organizations in Zimbabwe, who have called for an independent investigation into the alleged fraud.

The decision by SADC and the AU to send ministers instead of their respective heads of state has been seen by many as a clear indication of their reservations about the electoral process. It is a significant blow to President Mnangagwa, who had hoped to use his inauguration as a platform to showcase Zimbabwe’s commitment to democracy and international cooperation.

The absence of regional and continental leaders has also raised questions about the level of support and legitimacy President Mnangagwa enjoys among his peers. It is a stark contrast to the warm reception he received during his state visits to neighboring countries following his ascension to power last year.

The government has dismissed the allegations of election fraud, describing them as baseless and politically motivated. President Mnangagwa’s spokesperson, George Charamba, stated that the decision by SADC and the AU leaders to send ministers was a normal protocol and did not reflect any lack of confidence in the election outcome.

However, critics argue that the absence of high-profile leaders sends a strong message to the Zimbabwean government and raises doubts about the credibility of the electoral process. They argue that a thorough investigation into the allegations of fraud is necessary to restore faith in the democratic process and ensure a peaceful and inclusive Zimbabwe.

As the controversy surrounding the recent elections continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how President Mnangagwa’s government will address the concerns raised by international observers and opposition parties. The eyes of the nation and the international community are now fixed on Zimbabwe, waiting to see how the government will respond to these serious allegations.

In the meantime, the absence of SADC and AU leaders at the inauguration ceremony serves as a stark reminder that the road to legitimacy and international recognition for President Mnangagwa’s government may be more challenging than anticipated.

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