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Towards a negotiated settlement in Zimbabwe
Peoples’ Policy Committee (PPC)
April 20, 2007

This position paper was presented to His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Africa in his capacity as the mediator to the crises in Zimbabwe.

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Following the SADC extraordinary summit held in Tanzania on 28 March 2007, the People’s Policy Committee (PPC) which is a network of Zimbabweans based in the UK, would like to put forward its preferred position as regards the proposed ‘SADC Initiative’.

We begin with a tacit acceptance that Zimbabwe’s crisis is an African problem requiring an African solution. The time has come for new, concrete proposals, promoted by African leaders and implemented by Zimbabweans from all political and ideological hues, to restore hope to Zimbabwe. On that note, PPC welcomes SADC’s decision to appoint President Thabo Mbeki as the mediator to the actors in the protracted social conflict in Zimbabwe. It is hoped that his mediation shall tame the hydra of violence currently sweeping across the country and also usher in a new democratic dispensation.

This position paper is premised on the assumption that His Excellency President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa is willing to consider submissions from voices other than those stakeholders so far invited to attend the consultative meetings in South Africa. Given the extraordinary and grave conditions now obtaining in Zimbabwe and the significant population of Zimbabwean exiles living here in the UK some of whom are members of our pressure group on whose behalf we are acting, it would be remiss of us not to make appropriate representations to the SADC-initiated process. The major issues and expected minimum outcomes from the process are largely a common cause. Accordingly, we restrict our inputs to those matters the further resolution of which will, in our assessment and in light of our country’s chequered history, help create and deliver more enduring value, peace and national integration to all the people of Zimbabwe.

In this context we would therefore have to address such issues as the aim of the negotiations, the creation of an enabling environment for genuine negotiations, the nature of the mechanisms for negotiation and therefore the question who would sit at the negotiating table, the cessation of human rights abuses, the possibility of the formation of a transitional government, the duration of the negotiations and the role of the international community in the negotiated resolution of the crises in Zimbabwe.

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