Communiqué of 2008 First Extra-Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government, 13 April 2008, Lusaka, Zambia
- The Extra-ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government or their representatives of SADC met in Lusaka, Zambia to discuss the political developments in Zimbabwe following the recent Presidential Senatorial, National Assembly and Local Authorities elections’ held on March 2008.
- The meeting was chaired by His Excellency, President Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa SC, Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and President of the Republic of Zambia.
- The Extra-ordinary Summit was attended by the following Heads of State and Government:
Zambia H.E. President Dr Levy P Mwanawasa
Chairperson of SADC
Angola .......... H.E. President José Eduardo dos Santos
Chairperson of Organ on Politics, Defense and
Botswana H.E. President Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian
DRC H.E. President Joseph Kabila
Mozambique H.E. President Armando Emilio Gueouza
Namibia H.E. President Hilfikepunye Pohamba
South Africa H.E. President Thabo Mbeki
Malawi ...........H.E. President Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika
Kingdom of ............Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Lesao Lehlohla
Mauritius Hon. James B. David, Minister for Local
Kingdom of Hon. Charles S. Magongo, Minister of Public
Swaziland Service and Information
United Republic Hon. Seif A. Iddi, Deputy Minister for
of Tanzania Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Zimbabwe Hon. Emmerson D. Mnangagwa, Minister of
Rural Housing and Social Amenities
Madagascar H.E. Ambassador Dr. Dennis Andriamandroso
- In his opening remarks, the SADC Chairperson welcomed their Excellencies, Heads of State and Government to Lusaka, Zambia and indicated that the purpose of the Extra-ordinary Summit was to discuss the recent events in Zimbabwe following the elections in Zimbabwe in an open, objective and honest manner. In this regard, SADC reaffirmed its commitment to assist the parties to deal with the current situation.
- The Extra-ordinary Summit was held in line with SADC objectives to promote common political values and systems transmitted through institutions that are democratic, legitimate and effective to facilitate the consolidation of democracy, peace, security and stability.
- The Summit welcomed and congratulated H.E. President Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of Botswana on his assumption of office.
- The Extra-ordinary Summit noted and appreciated the briefing by H.E. President José Eduardo dos Santos, Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation on the Report of the SADC Electoral Observer Mission deployed in Zimbabwe during the elections.
- The Summit noted that the Report of the Chairperson of the Organ on the elections in Zimbabwe indicated that the electoral process was acceptable to all parties. Summit commended the Chairperson of the Organ for the manner in which the Observer Mission was handled. At the time of holding the Extra-ordinary Summit, the results of the Presidential election had not been announced by the election authorities.
- The Summit commended the people of Zimbabwe for the peaceful and orderly manner in which they conducted themselves before, during and after the elections.
- The Summit commended the Government of Zimbabwe for ensuring that elections were conducted in a peaceful environment.
- The Summit congratulated and thanked the SADC Facilitator, President Mbeki and his Facilitation Team, for the role they had played in helping to contribute to the successful holding of elections. Summit requested President Mbeki to continue in his role as Facilitator on Zimbabwe on the outstanding issues
- The Extra-ordinary Summit noted and appreciated the brief by the delegation of the Government of Zimbabwe on the elections held in Zimbabwe. The Government indicated that the elections were held in a free and peaceful environment. The Government expressed concerns at instances of inaccuracy of some figures relating to the House of Assembly, Senate and Presidential elections.
- Member States, with the exception of Zimbabwe, held informal consultations with Presidential candidates, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) and independent candidate, Dr Simba Makoni. Both opposition leaders confirmed that the elections were held in a free, fair and peaceful environment. Whilst they do not have a problem with the election results of the Senatorial, Parliamentary and Local Authority elections, they expressed concerns on the delay in announcing the results as well as lack of their participation in the verification process of the Presidential results currently being conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
- The Summit urged the electoral authorities in Zimbabwe that verification and release of results are expeditiously done in accordance with the due process of law. Summit also urged all the parties in the electoral process in Zimbabwe to accept the results when they are announced. By due process of law, Summit understood to mean that:
(a) the verification and counting must be done in the presence of candidates and/or their agents, if they so wish, who must all sign the authenticity of such verification and counting.
(b) SADC offers to send its Election Observer Mission who would be present throughout such verification and counting.
- In such verification and counting makes it necessary for the parties to go for a run-off, the Government is urged to ensure that the run-off elections are held in a secure environment. SADC offers to send an Election Observer Mission.
- The Summit appeals to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to ensure strict compliance with the rule of law and SADC Principles and Guidelines governing democratic elections.
- The Summit expressed its deep appreciation for the gracious hospitality extended to them by the Government of Zambia
Done at Mulungushi International Conference Centre
13 April 2008