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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • SADC Troika expected to hold Zim summit Saturday
    Alex Bell, SW Radio Africa

    July 18, 2013

    Viw this article on the SW Radio Africa website

    The security arm of the regional SADC grouping, the Troika, is expected to hold a summit on Zimbabwe this weekend ahead of the elections due in less than two weeks time.

    According to sources, the summit could be held in Pretoria, South Africa on Saturday. It is understood that South African President Jacob Zuma has been in discussion with his Troika partners, amid concern that the coming elections will not be credible.

    Calls to Zuma’s international relations advisor, Lindiwe Zulu, went unanswered on Thursday. But SW Radio Africa understands that meetings have been happening behind the scenes of Zimbabwe’s election process, with pressure building on SADC to ensure that the election is free and fair.

    The MDC-T said last week that it had written to SADC urging it to meet and review the situation in Zimbabwe and whether it will result in a credible poll. MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti said during a press conference that his party has had no choice but to return to SADC, because of ZANU PF’s ongoing refusal to implement the key changes that would ensure the July 31st poll is credible.

    Civil society groups and international human rights groups have also been pressuring SADC over Zimbabwe’s polls. Also last week Amnesty International wrote to SADC and the African Union (AU) warning that the credibility of the July 31st poll is in doubt. The group released a new report detailing an intensified campaign of harassment and intimidation, aimed at members of the Zimbabwe civil society sector.

    The report, ‘Walk the Talk’ details how the police have conducted systematic raids on different groups’ offices, arbitrarily arrested human rights defenders and seized equipment to intimidate and disrupt the work of the organisations.

    “The clampdown on the work of human rights defenders is a worrying indicator that government agencies remain actively hostile to civil society,” said Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International’s Africa Deputy Programme Director.

    Kututwa told SW Radio Africa that the groups being targeted have been carrying out election related human rights work, and with less than two weeks until the election, this trend threatens the credibility of the poll.

    Amnesty International this week went on to petition South Africa and Tanzania, as the key members of the SADC regional grouping and members of the SADC Troika, to ensure a violence-free, credible election in Zimbabwe.

    A group of Amnesty campaigners on Thursday presented 7,000 ‘action cards’ to the South African High Commission and an 11,000 strong petition to the Tanzanian High Commission in London, urging the countries to intervene.

    SW Radio Africa is Zimbabwe's Independent Voice and broadcasts on Short Wave 4880 KHz in the 60m band.

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