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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • COSATU supports call for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe
    Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)
    July 23, 2013

    COSATU notes with concern the situation in our neighbouring country of Zimbabwe. Having traveled the long journey with our fellow comrades thus far, we are proud of the remarkable steps forward made by the people of Zimbabwe towards creating a sustainable momentum for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

    We recognise the sacrifices, determination and resilience of the working and poor masses of Zimbabwe in their decisive struggles for democracy that created a regional momentum not seen since the anti-colonial and apartheid struggles. We are proud to have played a part towards that end and pledge to continue being part of the movement for the renewal and democratisation of Southern Africa.

    The critical lesson derived from the Zimbabwean crisis is that without a continuous struggle to deepen democracy, provide profound alternatives to the failures of neo-liberalism and restore the centrality of the people as the sovereign in any country, there can be never be sustainable progress and improvement in the quality of lives of the people. We are convinced that the struggle for democracy at home is at the same time a struggle for democracy on a global scale, hence the importance of understanding the real meaning of anti-imperialism and the revolutionary outlook of any liberation struggle.

    We take this opportunity to salute the SADC facilitator, President Jacob Zuma and his whole team, particularly the sterling role of the President’s International Adviser, Lindiwe Zulu, who has been on the receiving end of targeted and personalised attacks for her principled role in the facilitation process. Such forthrightness, decisiveness and firmness on principle are what SADC and any other multilateral institution need to take forward the genuine aspirations of the people.

    We are however, disappointed that following the good directives of the SADC Maputo Summit, the Zanu-PF regime has proceeded to unilaterally announce an election date, which has proven to be unsuitable as the state of readiness has clearly confirmed on the ground.

    Even more worrying are the growing incidents of violence and attacks against opposition members canvassing in the various wards and communities, which threaten to reverse all the good work covered by the SADC facilitation team.

    We remain in support of the holistic package of reforms that all the parties of Zimbabwe committed themselves to in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed in 2008.

    They are not just about electoral reforms, but all the critical areas requiring reforms, including and particularly the security cluster, media and the judiciary to embrace a diverse political dispensation and all the people of Zimbabwe in their diverse political opinions

    We call on the coming meeting of the SADC Organ Troika to act with the required firmness and demand all parties adhere to the agreed measures in the GPA and that a climate for free and fair elections remains central to real and tangible progress in Zimbabwe.

    COSATU sends revolutionary regards to the people of Zimbabwe as they embark upon this historic journey - the struggle to freely choose leaders of their own choice and to determine their own destiny like all other people in many parts of the world.

    The right to register, vote and express views about their own country is fundamental to the destiny of a people in any country and the whole continent’s path to change. We must fight and defend it wherever it is threatened, because we all lose or win together.

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