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No election before reforms
in Zimbabwe Coalition
March 16, 2012
As Crisis in
Zimbabwe, we totally reject continued calls for early elections
by ZANU PF and its functionaries. We reiterate our position that
credible, legitimate, free and fair elections cannot be held unless
genuine reforms (as agreed and provided for in the Global
Political Agreement) are carried out.
We view the
continued calls for early polls as absurd and premature and as a
grand strategy to obstruct the inclusive government from putting
in place reforms which create conditions necessary for the holding
of democratic elections. This is by no means isolated from the continued
partisan conduct of various state institutions such as the army,
police and traditional leaders which severely undermine prospects
of credible elections. In addition, the Coalition is concerned about
the partisan conduct of traditional leaders, who endorsed Mugabe
as ZANU PF presidential candidate and declared that a re ready for
elections at the just ended traditional leaders' annual conference.
The traditional leaders' track record of intimidating and
encouraging violence against perceived MDC supporters in their communities
is now a matter of public record. In 2008, state-sponsored
violence (in some instances, the army and traditional leaders
as the perpetrators), reversed the electoral will of the people
of Zimbabwe and entrenched President Robert Mugabe's rule.
While we appreciate
that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has new commissioners,
most of its current employees (including former military personnel
and state security agents) presided over the sham 2008 elections
and are publicly seen as retrogressive and partisan.
We also not
with grave concern that structures of violence (quasi-military structures
like war veterans and militias), used during the run-up to the June
2008 presidential election run-off, continue to be active thus posing
a serious threat to human security at community level should the
election dates be declared.
We wish to remind
government that restrictive laws which inhibit free expression,
association and movement of people of Zimbabwe such as the Public
Order and Security Act (POSA) are still in place. We demand
to POSA, that were introduced in Parliament
in 2011 and stalled by ZANU PF on the 14th of March 2012 when it
decided that the bill should only be discussed under GPA and not
amended in Parliament, be brought back to the August house as a
of rule of law and due process of the law continues to be subverted
by selective applications of the law and the partisan nature of
the police-which remains an obstacle to the holding of peaceful
elections. The Coalition remains concerned that electoral reforms
promised in the GPA remain outstanding more than three years after
the formation of the inclusive government.
Before the holding
of elections, the government of Zimbabwe must guarantee the rights
of citizens to participate freely in choosing a government of their
choice as provided for in the African
Charter of Human and People's Rights (ACHPR).
Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition reiterates that the position of civil society organisations
in Zimbabwe is that 2012 is a year for democratic reforms which,
if implemented, will create a conducive environment for the holding
of elections. To that end, The Coalition demands that the inclusive
government carries out the following reforms ahead of the holding
of a new constitution approved in a referendum.
of state institutions to ensure their independence and non-partisanship.
reforms to repeal all draconian pieces of legislation which impede
fundamental freedoms including freedom of expression and association.
of all military and state security agents from the employment
of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to guarantee the electoral
body's independency and professionalism.
and revising the voters' roll and a civil society driven
voter education programme.
that election monitors and observers are deployed at least six
months before and six months after elections to minimize violence
and ensure security of persons.
of environment which encourage participation of marginalised groups
including women and people with Disabilities.
wide-ranging media reforms including transforming state-broadcaster
into a non-partisan public broadcaster and introducing multiple,
independent actors in the media industry.
of conditions for free and fair elections in line with the Southern
Africa Development Community (SADC) Principles and Guidelines
for Democratic Elections.
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