FULL TEXT: Chamisa Nation Statement
28 May 2024
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Fellow citizens,

I have prepared this brief statement to update you on the efforts around the resolution of the disputed outcome of the August 2023 general elections that did not produce a credible and legitimate government chosen by the citizens of Zimbabwe.

As you are aware, following the shambolic and disputed August 2023 elections, we held nationwide consultations with you, the citizens, and all other relevant stakeholders, on the ways and means to resolve the electoral fraud. You, the citizens of Zimbabwe, are very clear and firm on the position that the elections were improperly conducted, indeterminate and produced a manipulated outcome.

This position is supported and confirmed by SADC, the African Union, the European Union, the Commonwealth, COMESA, and all other intergovernmental organizations which deployed election observer missions to Zimbabwe. There is no other election in the history of elections in this country that has invited such regional and international condemnation as the August 2023 elections. This matter must be resolved so that the country can have proper elections that produce a proper government from the citizens.

Fellow citizens, as your presidential choice, you and I, and the over two million (over TWO MILLION), gave a clear mandate, albeit in a disputed and contested August 2023 election. That mandate cannot be abdicated, abandoned, or undermined.

Upon and with your mandate, on the 26th of September 2023, we wrote to our regional body, SADC, the guarantor of the values and principles of the regional bloc for the “common agenda” and “common will” of the people of this region.

On 23 October 2023 SADC responded that they were giving the matter due consideration. Meanwhile, we have noted the various meetings of the leadership of SADC has held, including the latest Extraordinary Summit of the Organ Troika on the 23rd of March 2024 in Lusaka, Zambia. Therefore, we have advisedly been patiently waiting on our request.

On the 29th of April, however, since considerable time has passed, yet we had sought to resolve this issue much earlier, we delivered our follow-up to SADC for which we await a response to determine a clear path forward to resolve the governance crisis and leadership dispute.

Our request to SADC was and remains very simple, that, as the regional body which Zimbabwe has signed up for membership and vested some authority in the supranational intergovernmental organization, we require their facilitation to peacefully resolve the issues around the irregular and disputed elections. The problem of the manipulated elections that produced a government without a mandate from the citizens has since culminated into high levels of intolerance, violations, repression, illegal recalls of citizen representatives (of the very same disputed election, in itself, an unprecedented move and an encyclopedic indictment of the process itself), unlawful arrests and persecution of citizens upon all other kinds of archaic intimidatory and suppressive manifestations of the lack of mandate.

It is common knowledge that our country is facing a plethora of problems. Most of them are basic and symptomatic of bad governance, broken politics, and disputed leadership. We have a tanking economy; systemic corruption; 40% of the population living in extreme poverty; USD$1.8bn lost to looting annually; USD$100m worth of gold smuggled monthly; galloping hyperinflation; half of the population full of food insecurity; over 3 million Zimbabweans forced to migrate; 89% unemployment; and disputed national processes and elections.

Only a legitimate government chosen by the citizens has both the confidence and mandate to deliver on their necessities and demands. You voted for a government that would deliver healthcare and water, education, transportation, peaceful resolution and other basic services. You know why you voted for change. The current challenges of failing to resolve this huge national dispute is breeding a toxic atmosphere of death, starvation, poverty, poor income, the hostile political environment, an air of sadness and brain drain are all symptoms of an illegitimate government and a broken state. Zimbabwe’s elections are a great point of concern as the citizens cannot mandate anyone. Only a truly elected citizen government is the solution for good governance and service delivery.

We reiterate this point to SADC, the AU and indeed to the international community. It is untidy and untenable to sanitize or fertilize theft of elections and electoral malpractices by using a veil and casting a blind eye to matters of gigantic electoral fraud. Such a stance means Africa remains at antics. Our regional and international institutions, cohesion and common process and we condone it and add it another blot. It would be a contradiction in terms, to determine a process as flawed and yet condone its outcome.

Fellow citizens, may I hasten to say, the following and exhaustion of available remedies and peaceful means to resolve national issues is not a manifestation of weakness or that we are devoid of other ideas and means. It is our strict commitment to finding each other and amicably resolving our points of conflict, disjuncture, and disagreement.

We have committed to a peaceful resolution of disputes and intend to exhaust all available peaceful remedies. As you are all aware, millions of you agree with this approach. Zimbabwe is too beautiful and precious to be destroyed by flames of political disputes under our watch. Peace is fragile. Peace is sacrosanct. And the breakdown of peace knows no winner. The opposite of peace leaves us all losers.

Our beautiful country can never progress on the back of disunity and successive disputed national processes including contested elections. We are acutely aware of the urgency of this matter and more importantly that there can never be any talk about 2028 or a viable and stable future for this country without resolving August 2023, the broken past, and disputed politics. It remains our hope and indeed your hope that at least these concerns will be addressed with urgency and seriousness.

On my part I am doing everything necessary, to the extent of God’s Will, to seek a lasting solution to the perennial challenges affecting our beloved country. Locally and nationally, I have engaged all the stakeholders including the traditional leadership, business leadership, civil society at large, political parties and indeed international diplomatic corp. In particular, I have also sought the mediatory role of the church leadership to help resolve the disputes and electoral and constitutional processes, albeit, with handicapped progress. I have even numerously offered engagement with the other presidential contender at the end of our point of dispute and stopped at nothing in the way forward. We have repeatedly raised these issues and flagged them with key stakeholders, which paper are we already made public in due course.

We have engaged fraternal stakeholders within the SADC region. At Heads of State level, I have engaged leaders through delegations that I sent to the various capitals of the region and the urgent brief esteemed Excellencies about the election dispute, the political atmosphere, and our proposed way forward.

I therefore urge you to take an active role in peacefully determining the destiny of our country. I exhort you, fellow citizens, the interested, and the church, to continue to pray for a smooth and peaceful transition in our country. Stay the course, hold the fort, hold fast and stand involved. Stand ready. Change is upon us.

#Foreveryone #Godisinit!

God Bless You, God Bless Zimbabwe.

Thank you.

Under my name and hand.