Zimbabweans demand SADC action to bring free and fair elections

Zimbabweans demand SADC action to bring free and fair elections
Published: 30 March 2012 (2677 Views)
April 21st, 2012 will be Round 4 of the 21st Free Zimbabwe Global Protest demonstrations (or 21st Movement for short). The USA, London and Australia have already confirmed that they will hold their largest demonstrations yet as the 21st April will be the Independence Weekend.

The 21st Movement is seized with efforts to put pressure on South African President Jacob Zuma and SADC to enforce the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in Zimbabwe, which has been stalled by Zanu-PF’s refusal to implement agreed reforms and pave the way to Free, Fair and Indisputable elections.

In fact Zanu-PF is stealthily completing its local restructuring and preparing for its district elections, thereby stoking fears that President Mugabe is planning surprise by-elections in order to gauge the mood, then to follow this up with national elections after realigning the violence machinery as they did in 2008.

MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai who met his UK officials in London last week, rejected this possibility, saying it was no longer possible for Gushungo  (Mugabe) to call elections without the concurance of his coalition partner in the Government of National Unity.

He no longer has those Constitutional powers, but he is trying to please hawks in his party who fear to lose elections and are insisting on holding elections without the reforms that have been identified by the SADC as necessary for violence-free elections.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai said if Mugabe insisted, the result would simply not be recognized by SADC, nor by the AU, nor the rest of the World. The constitution has to be completed and ratified, and the SADC conditions for free and fair election have to be met, including institutional, media and security reform.

The 21st Movement is demanding that President Zuma make a public statement that he as the SADC Facilitator is not going to allow the holding of elections in Zimbabwe which do not meet the SADC standards.

In Washington DC last month, protestors managed to talk to the Deputy Chief of Mission Mr. Jonny Moloto who advised that he would be arranging a meeting for us with Ambassador Ibrahim Rasool to get feedback on their petition and subsequent letters to President Jacob Zuma.

This month all MDC-USA Districts will all converge in Washington DC for a combined demonstration at the SA Embassy on Massachusetts Av.

The demonstration will be followed by a dinner fundraiser to commemorate the day that should have brought independence to Zimbabwe but has instead brought untold suffering to the masses. The occasion will be graced by the inspiring MDC Organising Secretary, Nelson Chamisa.

In London, the chairman of the MDC Midlands South, Pepukayi Gonese, and his branches are ready to spearhead a memorable demonstration for the South Africans, at their London Embassy and he has invited all other UK districts and branches to attend.

In Australia, the co-ordinator, Paul Kaplan, who is also Convener of Zimbabwe Information Centre (Western Australia), said last month they brought the issue to South African Honorary Consul who referred the issue to the South African High Commissioner in Canberra, Ms Koleka Mqulwana.

The High Commissioner has already received large numbers of letters and emails from supporters of democracy in Zimbabwe as part of the campaign Down Under. Around Independence Weekend Zimbabweans in Australia are also planning their biggest action to date.

So far we have bloodied the nose of the dictator, let's see how many more rounds he can endure before the proverbial TKO.

International opinion is building up against the regime, despite its canny attempts to project a semblance of normalcy, but we know that youth militias are being recruited, and democracy activist are disappearing, including another one only this week.

In Round 4 the 21st Movement will focus on what true Independence means as opposed to the mockery that is celebrated by Zanu-PF on April 18.

Independence means:
- Freedom of assembly, demonstration, picketing and petitioning.
- Freedom of expression and freedom of the media.
- Freedom from torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
- Freedom of association
- Freedom of choice
- Equality and non-discrimination
- Right to life
- Right to personal liberty
- Right to human dignity
- Equality and non-discrimination
- Right to privacy
- Political rights

32 years of depriving Zimbabweans is enough, so we are declaring this day our Independence Day – Independence from Zanu-PF manipulating our votes, Independence from Zanu-PF stealing our votes, Independence from Zanu-PF running our lives.


- Den Moyo

Tags: SADC, Action, Elections,
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