Statement by Dr Lemogang Kwape, Minister of International Affairs and Co-operation of Botswana and Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, on the August 12, 2021 general election of the Republic of Zambia
The SADC Organ Troika constituting, Botswana as Chair, South Africa as the Incoming Chair, and Zimbabwe as Outgoing Chair, as well as members of the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC), commenced virtual consultations with key stakeholders in the Republic of Zambia on 2nd August 2021, ahead of the country’s general election scheduled to take place on 12th August 2021.
The Troika and SEAC are led by Honourable Dr Lemogang Kwape, Minister of International Affairs and Co-operation of the Republic of Botswana, and Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ, representing the President of the Republic of Botswana and Chairperson of the Organ, His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi Keabetswe Masisi.
Owing to the precarious situation with the COVID-19 pandemic in the region, the virtual consultations are being conducted instead of the physical deployment of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM).
To date, SADC has held informative and substantive virtual engagements with stakeholders representing the Government, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), Political Parties, Academia, and Non-Governmental Organisations. These stakeholders have all provided their perspectives and expectations on the electoral process.
The consultations will continue during the pre-election, election and post-election phases. SADC will remain seized with all developments throughout the electoral process.
SADC wishes to express appreciation to all the stakeholders engaged so far, for dedicating their time to this important consultative process, which concludes on 14th August 2021.
SADC also urges all stakeholders to comply with all relevant laws of Zambia, including the COVID-19 regulations and Standard Operating Procedures, to ensure a safe and peaceful election. In this regard, we appeal to all political leaders and their supporters to facilitate the work of the ECZ and other relevant authorities in the discharge of their mandates.SADC, however notes with regret, reports of sporadic acts of political violence in some areas of Zambia that resulted in the loss of lives. In this context, we call upon political party leaders to guide their supporters towards mutual political tolerance, calm and a peaceful settlement of political disputes. – SADC