Desperate Mnangagwa Coaxes SADC?
23 May 2024
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By A Correspondent

The wily Zanu PF leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has been under intense scrutiny for allegedly rigging the 2023 polls, appears to have managed to coax the Southern African Development Community (SADC) into a more favorable stance, if a photograph he posted on Wednesday is anything to go by.

Mnangagwa, who has faced widespread criticism for purportedly subverting the will of the Zimbabwean people in the August 2023 elections, shared an image on social media that suggests a successful engagement with SADC officials.

This has sparked a flurry of reactions and speculation about the true nature of SADC’s position on Zimbabwe’s electoral controversy.

In a statement on Facebook, Mnangagwa detailed the meeting: “This morning, I was honoured to receive the Executive Secretary of SADC, Elias Magosi, at State House. He was accompanied by key directors from SADC.

We had fruitful discussions on our shared goals for the region and the recent SADC Extraordinary Summit, where we addressed economic development, regional security, and climate resilience. #Zimbabwe #SADC.”

The photograph and the accompanying statement aim to convey a sense of normalcy and cooperation between Zimbabwe and the regional body, despite the ongoing allegations against Mnangagwa.

Critics argue that this move is part of a broader strategy to gain legitimacy and deflect attention from the contentious election results.

Mnangagwa’s ability to engage with SADC officials could be seen as an attempt to mend Zimbabwe’s image and assert his position as the legitimate leader.

However, the effectiveness of this strategy in quelling both domestic and international dissent remains to be seen.

While the details of the discussions with SADC were not disclosed, the reference to economic development, regional security, and climate resilience indicates a broad agenda that aligns with SADC’s regional priorities.

This alignment might help Mnangagwa garner support or at least neutralize opposition within the regional bloc.

Observers will be closely monitoring SADC’s next moves and statements to assess whether this meeting signifies a shift in the regional body’s stance or merely a diplomatic engagement without substantive changes in policy or perspective on Zimbabwe’s electoral integrity.

The controversy surrounding the 2023 elections in Zimbabwe is far from over, and Mnangagwa’s recent interactions with SADC will play a crucial role in shaping the narrative and influencing future developments in the region.