Pressure piles on SADC leaders to act on Zimbabwe

CIVIL society groups under the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition are piling pressure on Sadc to put the country on the agenda of its upcoming meeting following the disputed July 30 elections and post elections violence which has far claimed at least seven lives.

The groups will be meeting at the 38th Sadc People’s Summit in Namibia that comes before this weekend’s 38th Sadc summit which will be attended by the heads of State and government in the regional bloc.

Soldiers on August 1 shot dead at least seven people during a protest in Harare against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, while the situation in rural areas has also deteriorated with opposition supporters reportedly being harassed and forced into hiding.

In its position paper to be tabled at the People’s summit, CiZC said a rescue package must be drawn as soon as possible to deal with the situation.

“The Sadc community together with other global players must institute discussions on the situation in Zimbabwe and develop a political and economic rescue package that is predicated on democratic progress,” read the document.

“We urge the regional community to continue standing and fighting in the corner of Zimbabwe and its people rather than political elites.”

The civic organisation said Zimbabwe must return to full compliance with modern statecraft where the military is subordinate to civilian authority and desist from interfering in political issues as it did in November 2017 and the post-election period.

“The military immediately returns and stays in the barracks through leaving communities and roads where it is present,” added the organisation.

The groups added that Zimbabwe must uphold the rights of citizens and international visitors in all respects including through upholding media freedoms, civil and political liberties.

“Sadc and the international community must continue to condemn the illegal infractions against people’s rights in Zimbabwe, including holding as sacrosanct citizens’ rights to life and protection by the State, as well as discouraging impairments of rights of the media and ordinary Zimbabweans.

“Sadc and the international community must call for and support dialogue between political actors as well as an inclusive conversation on Zimbabwe’s future.”

At their meeting before the heads of State, the civil society groups are expected to agree on a position to pile pressure on regional leaders to act on Zimbabwe.


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