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Zimbabwe Special Briefing – Volume 1
in Zimbabwe Coalition (SA Regional Office)
April 30, 2013
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presentation at the Cape Town public seminar focused on regional
and international developments which affect political developments
in Zimbabwe. He pointed out that the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) that brought about the Zimbabwe Government
of National Unity was meant to prepare necessary conditions
for an acceptable free and fair election in Zimbabwe. According
to Professor Raftopoulos, the year 2008 was crucial because for
the first time the party that carried the torch of liberation for
28 years lost an election and refused to give up power. This is
very crucial because it is a message to the liberation movements
in the region that the legacy of liberation has to be constantly
renewed and that the aspiration for one person one vote that drove
people to fight for independence has to be respected.
added that demands by the opposition parties and civil society for
reforms like security sector realignment and speedy full implementation
of provisions of the Global Political Agreement are also being made
by the region and international players interested in Zimbabwe.
This means that all the parties will be seeking legitimacy on two
He gave an example
of President Jacob Zuma’s recommendations to the 9 March 2013
SADC Troika meeting discussing Zimbabwe in which he emphasised on
the need for speedy implementation of the outstanding GPA provisions
and also that the issue of security sector realignment cannot be
ignored any longer. He also gave an example of a recent communiqué
released by the Friends of Zimbabwe acknowledging the importance
of SADC mediation in Zimbabwe. Like SADC, their key demand is the
full implementation of the GPA. There is a convergence of agreement
between the regional and international players on Zimbabwe.
In terms of
setting election dates and other crucial decisions pertaining to
Zimbabwe’s transitional processes, Professor Raftopoulos added
that no party has the right to unilaterally make decisions. He pointed
out that it is crucial that Zimbabwe is able to manage processes
which gives us the right to vote without violence and give pax the
right to vote in a violence free election and take Zimbabwe forward.
In Prof. Raftopoulos’
opinion, even if Zimbabwe manages to hold a free and fair election,
balance of power re-mains crucial. Given the nature of polarization
and the amount of support enjoyed by the main political parties
in the country, no party will have dorminant control. There is thus
need for all political parties to work together. Parties should
engage in dialogue to avoid issues like militarist positioning as
witnessed in 2008. An election alone will not resolve the Zimbabwe
to Zanu PF was that it should stop delegitimizing MDC as a puppet
of the west that is meant to effect regime change in Zimbabwe because
the MDC is a legitimate force that emerged from national processes
and so has a right to equal participation. He also emphasised that
sovereignty is not only from the gun but from the will of the people.
According to Prof Raftopoulos,
violence in the coming elections will be prevented through intolerance
from SADC and international players who of late have been converging
in terms of understanding the Zimbabwe situation.
Visit the Crisis
in Zimbabwe fact
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