THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

African civil society groups take on Zimbabwe Crisis
African Civil Society Consultation on Zimbabwe - August 5-6, 2003
August 07, 2003

Read the concluding statement

Gaborone, Botswana - Today, the African Civil Society Consultation Meeting on Zimbabwe, represented by civil society groups from Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia and Kenya, issued a statement condemning the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe and called for urgent action by regional governments and institutions, as well as the international community, to end serious human rights violations in the country.

The Consultation, organized jointly by DITSHWANELO – the Botswana Centre for Human Rights, and the US-based Lawyers Committee for Human Rights took place over two days in Gaborone. Among the participants were representatives of regional human rights organizations, trade unions, church groups, women’s organizations and youth groups.

In addition to demanding that the government of Zimbabwe immediately bring an end to all human rights violations in the country, the participants called, among other things, for SADC countries to examine the compliance of the Zimbabwe authorities with the provisions of the Windhoek and Harare Declarations, and called on the AU Commission to issue a public statement condemning the human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

Moreover, they urged that Zimbabwe’s suspension from the Commonwealth should continue until its government takes concrete steps to restore the rule of law, respect for human rights and holds perpetrators of human rights violations accountable. The participants also demanded that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights should make its report on the June 2002 fact finding mission to Zimbabwe public at its next session in Banjul in October 2003.

Alice Mogwe, the Director of DITSHWANELO, said "the Consultation was an extremely important occasion for us, the civil society groups, to jointly express our concern about the human rights crisis in Zimbabwe, and call upon our governments and regional bodies to take a stronger position in addressing that crisis. Until now, there has not been a meeting involving so many different civil society groups, from so many countries in the region which has focused on the Zimbabwean situation."

Outspoken human rights advocate Archbishop Pius Ncube of Zimbabwe said "this meeting with our colleagues from the region has helped immensely to strengthen us in our struggle for respect for basic rights in Zimbabwe."


Lorna Davidson
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
Tel: +1 212 845 5251, Fax: +1 212 845 5299

Alice Mogwe
Ditshwanelo – The Botswana Centre For Human Rights
Tel: +267 390 6998, Fax: +267 390 7778

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.