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Africa Day congratulatory message: AU @ 50: whither Zimbabwe
Heal Zimbabwe Trust
May 24, 2013

The African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson

Her Excellency Dr Nkosana Dlamini Zuma

African Union Headquarters
P.O. Box 3243
Roosevelt Street
Addis Ababa

25 May 2013

RE: Africa Day Congratulatory Message: AU @ 50: Whither Zimbabwe

The above matter refers,

We hope we find you well. We would like to congratulate the African Union (AU) formerly the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on the attainment of 50 years. In 2013, Africa is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the African Union with the theme “2013, Year of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance”, as Heal Zimbabwe we understand that Pan Africanism is a movement that encourages the solidarity of Africans worldwide. It is based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to “unify and uplift” people of African descent. Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT) stand shoulder high with you and the rest of the continent on this great occasion and wish Africa all the best in its endeavours.

As we celebrate this important day in African history, HZT extends its heartfelt appreciation of the efforts of the African Union in ensuring that Zimbabwe did not slide into total chaos during the 2008 political violence. Zimbabweans recall with pride the African Union’s stance on Zimbabwe in the resort town of Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in June 2008 which stipulated clearly the need to urgently restore order and normalcy in Zimbabwe. The country after the intervention of AU through SADC has recorded relative peace and stability. It is HZT's hope that as the country heads for watershed elections later on in 2013, AU will continue to ensure that the gains of stability and relative peacefulness that have characterized the country over the past four years are not eroded through violent elections. It is our plea that AU through SADC set and demand a clear election roadmap from political leaders that guarantee free, fair and peaceful elections.

Your Excellency, you will recall that more than 200 people lost their lives during the 2008 political skirmishes, thousands were displaced, many women were sexually assaulted and many livelihoods destroyed. As a result of the 2008 political violence, elections to Zimbabweans especially those who reside in rural areas are synonymous to political violence. In line with AU's vision for “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena” there is need for Zimbabwe and other troubled countries to learn the culture of carrying out peaceful and democratic elections.

We believe that some of AU's objectives of promoting peace, security, and stability in the continent go hand in hand with our quest and demand for our political leaders to respect the right to life by shunning political violence. AU’s efforts to ensure that elections in Zimbabwe are free, fair and peaceful will be most appreciated.

For and On behalf of Victims of political Violence in Zimbabwe.

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