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Zimbabwe - Swaziland peace and democracy call to action statement
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
April 18, 2011

As Zimbabwe marks 31 years of independence from colonial rule, we gather today in exile, not to celebrate, but to demand an immediate end to violence mainly perpetrated by those who liberated the country. Clearly, it is not yet Uhuru. Today we demand peace, democracy and elections that are without violence or intimidation in southern Africa. We stand in solidarity with the oppressed and fighting people of Swaziland who today demand and cry for the freedom, democracy and good governance that has been denied them by Africa's last absolute monarch.

Zimbabwe and Swaziland civil society groups together with South African social movements will on Wednesday, 20 April hold a Peace and Democracy Rally at Thokoza Park, Rockville in Soweto from 11am to 3pm to demand peace and democracy in the entire Southern Africa region. We demand that SADC takes urgent note of the desires and aspirations of its peoples and takes vital steps to demonstrate its total commitment to good governance, rule of law and human rights respect in the region. For instance, SADC must suspend any member state that willfully violates SADC principles and standards on elections, democracy or violates the basic rights of its citizens.

We strongly urge SADC to ensure that its Troika Resolutions on Zimbabwe taken on 31 March in Livingstone, Zambia, are fully and timeously implemented. We are closely monitoring Zimbabwe's political leadership, particularly those in ZANU-PF who, de facto, wield significantly more political power, to ensure that they fully implement SADC Troika resolutions including immediately ending all forms of violence and intimidation, hate speech, harassment and other violations of the letter and spirit of the Global Political Agreement. Zimbabwe political leaders must urgently institute critical reforms to create an environment conducive to holding of free and fair elections supervised by SADC and where violence and intimidation play no part.

As Zimbabwe civil society groups in South Africa, we register unfettered support and endorsement of the democratic struggle that the people of Swaziland are engaged in and we wish to strongly urge our Swazi brothers and sisters to remain focused and committed to the struggle until victory is achieved. This is the same struggle we are fighting in Zimbabwe, and our common vision is of a democratic, peaceful and socio-economically developed Southern Africa.

We, the peoples of Southern Africa, are one people, with the same aspirations, joys, desires and hopes for peace, security and development. We must all continue to stand together, shoulder to shoulder in the fight for a just cause; we shall remain in the trenches until all citizens of Southern Africa are truly politically emancipated and economically empowered.

We wish to categorically warn African governments, in particular those of Swaziland and Zimbabwe, to note that if citizens are continually subjected to the subversion of their will, they may end up resorting to popular uprisings in the nature of what has been witnessed recently in North Africa with the direct effect of destabilizing the region and reversing any gains made.

All SADC leaders must ensure, protect and promote the fundamental rights of their peoples fully respecting the principles and standards they have signed to in terms of various SADC protocols, in particular those regarding the holding of free and fair elections as well as guaranteeing effective citizen participation in government and free political activity.

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Visit the Crisis in Zimbabwe fact sheet

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