President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Southern African countries must hold elections without the presence of international observers.

He was speaking at a state banquet for visiting Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera, who takes over as SADC chair next year.

Mnangagwa accused foreign election observers of being biased, and told Chakwera, who was on two day state visit to Harare, that he (Chakwera) won Malawi’s presidential election re-run without international observers, but it was successful.

“You successfully conducted free and fair elections without foreign observers.

“This makes us think if it is still necessary for future elections in SADC countries to be supervised by those from across oceans,” he said.

His comments come at the time some SADC countries are set to hold general elections, with Zambia going to the polls in 2021, while Zimbabwe will have hers in 2023.