By Alois Vinga
CRISIS in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has written to the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) pleading with the regional bloc to urgently whip President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration into line over human rights abuses and a deepening socio-economic crisis.
The letter seen NewZimbabwe.com Monday, was addressed to the SADC chairperson of the Troika on Peace, South Africa president, Cyril Ramaphosa.
In it, CiZC pleads with the regional bloc to send out a fact-finding mission to Harare to investigate the cases of politically motivated violence that are currently afflicting the country.
“Additionally, we request that you cause the SADC to consider sending a long-term observer mission to Zimbabwe, as we believe that elections are already being stolen by the current government through a subtle and long-term manipulation of key electoral levers, including wanton manipulation of the voters’ roll,” the letter by CiZC chair Peter Mutasa, dated March 7, 2022 reads.
Mutasa said Sadc must spearhead an internal and inclusive all stakeholders dialogue process to serve as a precursor to the resolution of the crisis in Zimbabwe .
He said such a process must be broad-based and inclusive of actors beyond political parties, that is, business; smallholder producers; civil society; academia; labor; women; youth as well as other ordinarily marginalized social groups.
“It is also our firm belief that the Zimbabwe dialogue and subsequent transitional alternatives that emerge from this national conversation must seek to protect, uphold and strengthen the Constitution.”
“The national dialogue should also seek to realise the foundational values and vision of SADC in creating a Common Future, a future within a regional community that will ensure economic well-being, improvement of the standards of living and quality of life, freedom and social justice and peace and security for the people of Southern Africa,” he said.
Mutasa said in line with its objective of ensuring a democratic and economically developed region, Sadc should institute discussions on the situation in Zimbabwe and develop a political and economic rescue package that is predicated on broad-based governance reforms.
He urged Sadc to openly condemn the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.
“Sadc should encourage Zimbabwe, especially President Emmerson Mnangagwa, to fulfil his national obligations as spelt out in the SADC Treaty which designates “solidarity, peace and security; respect for human rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law and peaceful settlement of disputes” as its founding principles delivered on November 24, 2017,” the letter reads.
The eight paged letter outlined how the proposed PVO Bill will undermine democracy and choke social service delivery in the country among other factors.