Image: OPC

President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is frantically holding critical meetings with Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States, as he lobbies against the regional body’s election observer mission report which rejected Zimbabwe’s recent shambolic elections.

The meetings are calculated to address his legitimacy crisis.

After meeting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his delegation, Mnangagwa last night met Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi at the New York Palace Hotel for similar discussions.

He will also meet other leaders.

Ramaphosa commented on the SADC report, saying: “If one looks at that report, it actually says there were challenges; challenges with regards to a number of things that have got to do with the election;
Many countries throughout the world have such challenges; the United States is a prime example with regards to the last election.

“They (observers) have said in the report, as I read it, that certain things need to be improved; They have not declared the election as invalid, unfree and unfair; they have highlighted certain challenges.

“What was said by representatives of the observer mission still has to be discussed in SADC because it’s not a final report; Those are challenges that need to be addressed; Well, there is a lack of transparency, they (observers) need to come up with the details and I would say, yes, let the details be put forward so that we can deal with them.

“So, we are waiting to receive that report at the SADC level so that we can deal with it because if anything, it was an interim report; and So, once the report is put to the Sadc body, we will then debate it and we will also hear representations from Zimbabwe as well as the SADC observer mission.