Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa, in his capacity as chairperson of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, has called for calm in Mozambique as that country awaits the announcement of official results of the recent elections.
The country held presidential, legislative and provincial elections on October 15 and indications are that incumbent President Filipe Nyusi and his Frelimo party are poised to garner more than 70 percent of the total votes.
However, the opposition Renamo has dismissed the elections as a “fraud” and threatened to reject the outcome, raising fears that the disagreements over the polls could shake the Peace and National Reconciliation Agreement between President Nyusi and Renamo leader Mr Ossufo Momade, signed in August this year.
Against this background, President Mnangagwa yesterday called on all stakeholders in the polls to remain patient and calm while the results continue to be compiled for final validation and proclamation by the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Mozambique.
“Sadc further encourages contesting political parties and other stakeholders to observe the spirit of the Peace and National Reconciliation Agreement of 6th August, 2019, and maintain peace and stability, which is important not only for the Republic of Mozambique, but also for the entire Sadc region,” said President Mnangagwa in a statement.
“In the event of electoral disputes, Sadc further urges all political parties and contestants to resort to relevant legal mechanisms for the settlement of electoral disputes, including the District Judicial Courts, and the Constitutional Council, and appeals to Judicial institutions to determine electoral disputes within established timelines.”
President Mnangagwa affirmed the regional bloc’s support and commitment to the enhancement of democracy in Mozambique and the region as a whole.
He said Sadc deployed its Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM), headed by Defence and War Veterans Minister, Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, to the Mozambican polls in line with the bloc’s revised Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections of 2015.
“Sadc issued a Preliminary Statement on 17th October 2019, and commended the people of Mozambique for exercising their democratic right to vote, and for their peaceful and orderly conduct in the immediate pre-election period. The Sadc Electoral Observation Mission continues with the Post-Election Phase observations, and the SEOM’s Final Report for the 15th October, 2019 Presidential, Legislative and Provincial Elections will be issued after concluding the Post-Election observations,” he said.
President Mnangagwa dispatched his deputy Cde Kembo Mohadi to witness the signing of the Peace and National Reconciliation Agreement in August that was also attended by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa among other African heads of State.
The agreement was meant to effectively end tensions between Renamo and Frelimo spanning four decades and pave way for a developmental trajectory that would make way to, among other things, massive gas projects in the north.
Speaking at the signing at the Peace Square in Maputo, President Nyusi said he and Mr Momade were committing to dialogue to solve political differences. “With this agreement we are saying that we may disagree, but we always use dialogue to settle our differences. Never again should election results dictate the state of peace in Mozambique,” he said.
Mr Momade said, “We have just opened a new page in the history of our country.”