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  • Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign

  • Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum condemns the repressive action against Zimbabweans including the murder of Gift Tandare
    Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum (ZSF)
    March 13, 2007

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    At least one person is confirmed dead, shot by police, and scores of others severely assaulted, following an attempt to hold a rally at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare. Confirmed reports of the beating in custody of Morgan Tsvangirai and the disappearance of Arthur Mutambara, the leaders of both groupings of the MDC, are indicative of the ever more brutal levels the Harare regime is prepared to stoop to as the struggle in Zimbabwe deepens and intensifies.

    The arrested also include the Chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly Dr Lovemore Madhuku, Tendai Biti, William Bango, Sekai Holland, Grace Kwinjeh, Elton Makoma and Nelson Chamisa, Job Sikhala, Morgan Changamire, Frank Chamunorwa, Linos Mushonga, Godfrey Gumbo and Clever Kafero, plus many members of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign.

    We call on the SADC parliamentary forum, the SADC Secretariat, including the Head of Policy and Strategic Planning and the Director of Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, and all SADC member states to stand up and speak out now about the urgent need for action around Zimbabwe.

    Displays of state aggression and increasing contempt for ordinary freedoms and legal norms are part of the tightening noose Mugabe and his allies within ZANU-PF and the Zimbabwe Defence Force are placing around the necks of those who oppose the totalitarian state.

    These latest actions are part of a conscious strategy in Zimbabwe to militarise and gain total control of all spheres of social, economic and political life, down to the very basics of food production, where people live and what they are allowed to do, even controlling the way people are supposed to think, using fear and violence as the weapons of choice. State policy is impacting hardest on those who have least. The working class and their families, victims of the massive displacement of Operation Murambatsvina, women and men struggling to feed their children, sick people struggling to find health care and students struggling for the education that is their right.

    In spite of the increasing risks of standing up against the brutal machine that the Harare regime has become there are signs of increasing resistance everywhere. All police and army leave has been cancelled, students are organized behind a nation-wide class boycott, hundreds of participants in peaceful public actions still languish in prisons and police stations waiting to be charged. A mass stay-away has been called by the Zimbabwean Council of Trade Unions for the 3rd of April.

    In answer to the call from within Zimbabwe, and in response to these critical conditions, a regional and international solidarity movement will intensify its call for action over the coming months. A series of local, regional and international events have already been undertaken that have built a solid basis that can expose events in Zimbabwe and put direct pressure on those within government who realize that they will eventually have to work with civil and political opposition members.

    There has never been a clearer need for SADC to realize its potential and intervene to negotiate the establishment of an agreed process that will meet the demands of all Zimbabweans and immediately end the unacceptable violent abuses of state power. The growing realization by civil society and governments from across Southern Africa that the crisis in Zimbabwe is a regional crisis that affects all of us adds to the pressure to do something while there is still time.

    Growing awareness of conditions inside Swaziland also put pressure on SADC to act. Liberation from colonialism was built on regional solidarity, so too must the struggle against all forms of oppression. A military controlled Zimbabwe, that serves the interests only of the increasingly wealthy elite, and that disregards democratic practices at the core of the African Unions vision, will take the entire region backwards.

    There is increasing unity over the call for roundtable discussions on developing a new constitution, for the repeal of draconian speech and assembly laws, for free and fair elections in a non-repressive climate, and for an end to violence, including but not limited to torture, beatings, rape and killings.

    The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum adds its voice to the many who will stand up in condemnation of the latest evidence of thuggery. Our thoughts are with the families affected and by those who are suffering.

    The struggle continues, Aluta Continua.

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