Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and independent candidate Simba Makoni told Southern African Development Community leaders that they did not have problems with results of the 2008 senatorial, parliamentary and local authority elections.
They were, however, concerned about the delay in announcing results as well as lack of their participation in the verification process of the presidential election results.
They said the elections had been held in a free, fair and peaceful environment.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LUSAKA 000424 SIPDIS DEPARTMENT FOR AF/FO, AF/S, AND AF/PD SIPDIS E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL [External Political Relations], SADC [Southern African Development Community], ZA [Zambia], ZI [Zimbabwe] SUBJECT: FULL TEXT OF SADC SUMMIT COMMUNIQUE REF: LUSAKA 423
On April 12-13, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held an Extraordinary Heads of State Summit to discuss the Zimbabwean presidential elections. The complete text of the communique, released on April 13, is included below. By septels, Post will provide additional reporting on the Summit.
SADC COMMUNIQUE 2008 FIRST EXTRA-ORDINARY SADC SUMMIT OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT 13 APRIL 2008 LUSAKA, ZAMBIA
The Extra-ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government or their representatives of SADC met in Lusaka, Zambia to discuss the political developments in Zimbabwe following the recent Presidential, Senatorial, National Assembly and Local Authorities elections’ held on 29 March 2008.
The meeting was chaired by His Excellency, President Dr Levi Patrick Mwanawasa S.C, Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and President of the Republic of Zambia. Para 3 The Extra-ordinary Summit was attended by the following Heads of State and Government:
- Zambia: H.E. President Dr Levy P. Mwanawasa Chairperson of SADC
- Angola: H.E. President Jose Eduardo dos Santos Chairperson of Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation
- Botswana: H.E. President Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama
- DRC: H.E. President Joseph Kabila
- Mozambique: H.E. President Armando Emilio Guebuza
- Namibia: H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba
- South Africa: H.E. President Thabo Mbeki
- Malawi: H.E. President Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika
- Lesotho: Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Lesao Lehohla
- Mauritius: Hon. James B. David Minister for Local Government
- Swaziland: Hon. Charles S. Magongo Minister for Public Service and Information
- Tanzania: Hon. Seif A. Iddi Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
- Zimbabwe: Hon. Emmerson D. Mnangagwa Minister of Rural Housing and Social Amenities
- Madagascar: H.E. Ambassador Dr. Dennis Andriamandroso
In his opening remarks, the SADC Chairperson welcomed their Excellencies, Heads of State and Government to Lusaka, Zambia and indicated that the purpose of the Extra-ordinary Summit was to discuss the recent events in Zimbabwe following the elections in Zimbabwe in an open, objective and honest manner. In this regard, SADC re-affirmed its commitment to assist the parties to deal with the current situation.
The Extra-ordinary Summit was held in line with SADC objectives to promote common political values and systems transmitted through institutions that are democratic, legitimate and effective to facilitate the consolidation of democracy, peace, security and stability.
The Summit welcomed and congratulated H.E. Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of Botswana on his assumption of office.
The Extra-ordinary Summit noted and appreciated the briefing by H.E. President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation on the Report of the SADC Electoral Observer Mission deployed in Zimbabwe during the election.
The Summit noted that the Report of the Chairperson of the Organ, on the elections in Zimbabwe indicated that the electoral process was acceptable to all parties. Summit commended the Chairperson of the Organ for the manner in which the Observer Mission was handled. At the time of holding the Extra-ordinary Summit, the results of the LUSAKA 00000424 002.2 OF 002 Presidential election had not been announced by the election authorities.
The Summit commended the people of Zimbabwe for the peaceful and orderly manner in which they conducted themselves before, during and after the elections.
The Summit commended the Government of Zimbabwe for ensuring that elections were conducted in a peaceful environment.
The Summit congratulated and thanked the SADC Facilitator, President Mbeki and his Facilitation Team, for the role they had played in helping to contribute to the successful holding of elections. Summit requested President Mbeki to continue in his role as Facilitator on Zimbabwe on the outstanding issues.
The Extra-ordinary Summit noted and appreciated the brief by the delegation of the Government of Zimbabwe on the elections held in Zimbabwe. The Government of Zimbabwe indicated that the elections were held in a free and peaceful environment. The Government expressed concerns at instances of inaccuracy of some figures relating to the House of Assembly, Senate and Presidential elections.
Member States, with the exception of Zimbabwe, held informal consultations with Presidential candidates, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and independent candidate, Dr. Simba Makoni. Both, opposition leaders confirmed that the elections were held in a free, fair and peaceful environment. Whilst they do not have a problem with the election results of the Senatorial, Parliamentary and Local Authority elections, they expressed concerns on the delay in announcing the results as well as lack of their participation in the verification process of the Presidential results currently being conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
The Summit urged the electoral authorities in Zimbabwe that verification and release of results are expeditiously done in accordance with the due process of law. Summit also urged all the parties in the electoral process in Zimbabwe to accept the results when they are announced. By due process of law, Summit understood to mean that: (a) the verification and counting must be done in the presence of candidates and/or their agents, if they so wish, who must all sign the authenticity of such verification and counting. (b) SADC offers to send its Electoral Observer Mission who would be present throughout such verification and counting.
If such verification and counting makes it necessary for the parties to go for a run-off, the Government is urged to ensure that the run-off elections are held in a secure environment. SADC offers to send an Election Observer Mission.
The Summit appeals to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to ensure strict compliance with the rule of law and SADC Principles and Guidelines governing democratic elections.
The Summit expressed its deep appreciation for the gracious hospitality extended to them by the Government of Zambia. Done at Mulungushi International Conference Centre Lusaka, Zambia 13 April 2008