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Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) statement on International Day of Peace
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
September 25, 2013

Theme: “Education for peace”

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) belatedly joins the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of Peace, which fell on Saturday, September 21. This year’s commemorative day comes at a time when Zimbabwe has held peaceful but disputed elections and made great strides in ridding itself of politically motivated overt violence which had become one of the greatest threats to peace in the country.

The Coalition remains cognizant of the fact that the absence of violence in itself does not suffice to guarantee the goal of peace and we would emphasize that peace only becomes meaningful when it encapsulates the basic freedom of citizens to conduct themselves without fear, intimidation, or other forms of harassment which disturb their emotional and psychological peace.

As this year’s theme, “Education for Peace” implies, the establishment of peace in our communities requires deeper commitment in inculcating the values of tolerance and democracy and it is the Coalition’s considered view that intolerance, exclusion and unfair governance practices have significantly contributed to the breaches of peace that Zimbabwe and the world at large have witnessed over the years.

The Coalition bears in mind and hopes the relevant State authorities are equally appreciative of the fact that peace is a goal attained through collective efforts including the lawful contribution of civil society organisations in the country while the preservation of that peace depends as much on the government’s willingness to accept the role of such civic groups in educating and campaigning in the communities about tolerance and non-violence.

It is our categorical averment that impunity by those who have been involved in breaches to public peace and absence of true reconciliation in the country will not aid the goal of constructing a peaceful society, but sabotage it in the long run.

We take this opportunity to remind the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) that sustainable peace in the sub-region and on the continent will depend on the bloc’s commitment to engendering democratic governance in line with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance rather than an unsustainable and narrow determination to foster stability even in undemocratic and autocratic states.

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