Cape Town - United States-based non-governmental
organisation Freedom House has called upon member states of SADC to revise
their preliminary statements and acknowledge flaws in Zimbabwe's election
process, a News Day report said on Thursday.
In a statement, the organisation said SADC needed to
immediately halt any actions or statements that would legitimise the Zanu-PF
government until a genuinely independent investigation was conducted into
"These elections were plagued with voters' roll manipulation
and widespread intimidation from the ruling Zanu-PF and were, therefore,
neither free nor fair," reads the statement.
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"Local NGOs noted systematic disenfranchisement during the
election process, with significantly more voters being turned away in urban
strongholds of the opposition MDC than in rural Zanu-PF strongholds."
This development comes as a growing number of SADC states
sent President Robert Mugabe congratulatory messages over his
re-election last week.
SADC and the African Union (AU) observer missions have
already lauded the vote as free and credible, although they did not describe it
Ironically, in a poll last year, Freedom House projected a
victory for Mugabe.
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Special Report Page.