AU backs Zimbabwe's election, rejects opposition's crisis claims


The African Union (AU) has given its full support to Zimbabwe's disputed elections, dismissing the allegations of fraud and irregularities raised by other regional and international observers. 

Contradictions ... AU's backing of Zimbabwe's polls contradicts the contents of the SADC Election Observer Mission report

The AU's endorsement is seen as a major boost for President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who faces a persistent challenge from opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

The AU, representing African ambassadors in Zimbabwe, said the country was stable and peaceful, and that the elections were conducted in accordance with the governing laws. 

The AU's position contradicts the findings of several election observer missions, including the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Commonwealth, the European Union (EU), the Carter Center, and local groups, which highlighted various flaws in the electoral process.

These flaws included the uneven distribution of voting materials, late delivery in perceived opposition strongholds, and an atmosphere that was not conducive to a free and fair election. 

Some observers also questioned the credibility of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), which announced that Mnangagwa won 50.8% of the vote, while Chamisa secured 44%.

Chamisa, who leads the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has rejected the ZEC's results and challenged them in court. 

He has also called for regional and continental stakeholders to intervene in what he calls a political and constitutional crisis in Zimbabwe. 

Chamisa has proposed dialogue as the solution and has demanded fresh elections to be administered by an independent body, preferably the United Nations (UN).

However, the AU has sided with Mnangagwa and his government, saying there is no crisis in Zimbabwe and that the elections were legitimate. 

Rwandan Ambassador to Zimbabwe, James Musoni, who is the Acting Dean of African Ambassadors, stated that there was no basis for any external interference in Zimbabwe's affairs. 

Musoni made these remarks after Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Amon Murwira briefed the ambassadors on the situation before, during, and after the elections.

Musoni said, "The briefing has been helpful to us in ensuring that we understand that the country is really stable. We are satisfied with the way the elections were conducted and we congratulate President Mnangagwa for his victory."

Murwira also reiterated that the Constitution of Zimbabwe does not provide for a Government of National Unity (GNU) or any elections to be run by external institutions. 

He informed Musoni's delegation that the next harmonized elections would be held in 2028.

The AU's declaration is seen as a significant endorsement for Mnangagwa and his government, as it counters the criticisms raised by other observer missions. 

However, the opposition continues to challenge the election results and calls for external intervention to address what they believe to be a crisis.

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