JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – South African opposition leader Julius Malema has warned that “pretentious elections” in Zimbabwe “will not work” as he called for a free and fair vote on August 23.
The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, speaking on Saturday, urged Zimbabweans to reclaim their country from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s “kleptocracy.”
“They must never despair, they must continue to fight for their country and reclaim it from kleptocracy and the criminality that has hijacked Zimbabwe,” Malema told the SABC during celebrations of his party’s 10th anniversary.
“We want the Zimbabweans to fight to take over their own country back. We want the international community to lift the sanctions and let’s get Zimbabwe to work again.”
Even as he called on western countries to lift sanctions, Malema warned that a disputed election would prolong Zimbabwe’s international isolation.
Opposition parties complain that police are preventing their rallies and violence has been reported in rural areas.
“This thing of pretentious elections is not going to work, it’s not going to deliver the much-needed confidence that Zimbabweans need now from the international community to go back and reinvest there and lift the sanctions,” he said.
“Zimbabweans must never despair, they must continue to fight and one day they shall know real peace and freedom.”
The EFF marked its 10th anniversary at a packed FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.