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  • Malawi & Zimbabwe CSOs urge SADC to keep engaged
    Zimbabwean Civil Society Organisations
    February 14, 2013

    We, the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Malawi, in joint-alliance with our sister CSOs in Zimbabwe, cognisant of the importance of regional solidarity to the people of Zimbabwe, do hereby make a statement on the situation in Zimbabwe.

    First, we would like to acknowledge the Malawian Government, SADC and AU for its efforts enshrined in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) meant to seek peace, democracy and stability in Zimbabwe.

    As a result, we acknowledge that the warring political parties in Zimbabwe have agreed on a draft constitution which was adopted by the Zimbabwe Parliament on 7 February 2013. Even though there is little time for civic participation we acknowledge that the draft constitution is now going for a referendum on 16 March 2013 where Zimbabweans will decide.

    However, the Zimbabwe crisis is far from over, there is resurgence of violence targeted at civil society leaders, military involvement in politics and failure to respect the rule of law. We therefore plead with the Malawian government and SADC to continuously monitor the Inclusive Government. Specifically we plead with SADC to:

    • Send observers in the next two weeks for the constitutional referendum so as to measure the preparedness of Zimbabwe to hold a peaceful, free and fair election this year
    • Call for an Extraordinary SADC summit on the Zimbabwe Election that will adopt an election road-map in alignment with the anticipated constitution, develop a specific code of conduct for the military during the election, a code of conduct in regard to politically motivated violence, emphasise need for media freedoms among other key reforms
    • Deploy long-term observers to Zimbabwe once the dates for the election are announced
    • Assist Zimbabwe to have a peaceful transfer of state power from the current inclusive government to whoever wins, whether it is ZANU PF or MDC or any other party, and for SADC to maintain its monitoring role post-election until there is political stability
    • Call for an immediate end to arbitrary arrests and the political persecution of civil society activists in Zimbabwe which has been on the rise in the past months.

    We are confident that, with continued support from the Malawi Government and SADC, Zimbabwe can have a free and fair election which will also, in an important way, enhance economic, political and democratic stability in the region.

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