Renowned Zimbabwean investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono says been exonerated for predicting that nothing would come out of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) extraordinary meeting on Zimbabwe.

Chin’ono based his prediction on SADC leaders’ track record of protecting each other despite human rights abuses by some member states.

Chin’ono writes:

Last week I commented on the SADC summit that took place today giving my views on what I thought would happen based on SADC’s track record.

I said that DON’T expect anything meaningful from it, some were angry and some even ridiculously called me ZANUPF, this is because we like hearing what we want to hear, instead of hearing what we SHOULD hear.

From Day One I said that SADC would not help us, this was based on SADC’s track record of never undoing disputed elections.

With the arguably exception of South Africa and Botswana, SADC elections are disputed and have different levels of rigging, that is why we should expect nothing from SADC.

The one thing that SADC leaders have perfected is protecting each other’s sham elections.

The solution for Zimbabwe’s shambolic election lies in Zimbabwe and not SADC.

This is what the SADC Chairman and President of Angola João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço said today.

“Your Excellencies, allow me to congratulate President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe and His Majesty King Mswati III, the King of Eswatini, for the exemplary elections that were recently conducted in your countries.

“The tranquility and orderly manner in which they took place constituted a major victory for democracy and a significant contribution to peace, stability, and harmony among all living forces of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Kingdom of Eswatini.”

So essentially SADC endorsed the shambolic Zimbabwean election even calling it exemplary.

I repeat again, let us not rely on populist propaganda that we know not to be true, let us normalise wanting to hear what we should hear not what we want to hear.

I repeat again, the cure for Zimbabwe’s shambolic election lies within Zimbabwe, SADC and even ECOWAS only come when there is a crisis.

A rigged election is not considered a crisis because they all rig elections with the exception of South Africa and Botswana.

In our case it is even worse, South Africa openly supports ZANUPF, and nothing serious happens at SADC without South Africa’s endorsement.

Our political actors should focus on viable solutions which are real and practical and not fairy tales.