Hichilema Addresses Zanu PF, Critics of SADC Observer Mission’s Report on Zimbabwe Elections
11 September 2023
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By A Correspondent| In a speech that emphasized diplomacy and regional cooperation, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema responded to recent criticism from the Zimbabwean government regarding the SADC Observer Mission’s report on the 23 August 2023 Zimbabwean elections.

Hichilema’s remarks appeared to be targeted at Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF party, which was declared the winner of the shambolic polls.

The SADC-EOM Chief Observer, Nevers Mumba, had earlier declared that the 23 August elections in Zimbabwe were not free and fair.

This statement drew ire from Zanu PF and led to diplomatic tensions within the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

President Hichilema, addressing his nation in a televised speech, called for unity and cooperation among SADC member states in addressing the ongoing situation in Zimbabwe. He stated, “On economic integration, enhancing growth in our individual economies, regional, and Africa’s economy; Zambia is part of the pack of nations, civilized nations. Calling each other names when we are solving a problem created by colleagues, and the names are being called by those who created the problem, is not logic. It is not normal. It is called an abnormality. That’s what we call it.”

Hichilema’s speech underscored the importance of maintaining respectful dialogue and diplomacy among SADC nations while addressing regional challenges.

He urged that finding common solutions and working together towards regional stability should be the priority.

The Zambian President’s comments came as tensions between Zimbabwe and other SADC member states have escalated following the release of the SADC Observer Mission’s report.

Zimbabwean officials, including members of Zanu PF, have vehemently contested the report’s findings, labeling them as biased and politically motivated.