Gaborone, 23 November 2010
On November 22, 2010, a delegation from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition held a positive and progressive meeting with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat Executive Secretary, Dr. Tomaz A. Salomao in Gaborone, Botswana. The meeting focused on SADC’s role in efforts to find a lasting solution to Zimbabwe’s political conflict and clarify the sub-regional position on elections and the lifespan of the coalition government as the guarantors of the Global Political Agreement between. We acknowledge and appreciate this valuable engagement with Dr. Salomao and his team and look forward to continued engagement.
We wish to reiterate our call to action for SADC to urgently:
1. Deploy SADC monitors to Zimbabwe to comprehensively assess and ensure the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) for restoration of political stability, peace and human security paving the way for Zimbabwe to hold credible elections;
2. Ensure that the SADC Monitors particularly focus on pushing the political parties in Zimbabwe to create a conducive environment for the holding of democratic elections that are free from violence and intimidation and where the people of Zimbabwe can genuinely and freely express their will;
3. Indicate categorically that elections will only be held after SADC and the African Union - as guarantors of the GPA – make an independent assessment of conditions on the ground and certify that the environment is conducive and that necessary institutional and legislative reforms have taken place to allow for an election that meets SADC standards on the conduct of democratic elections. This includes ensuring that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is fully capable (technically and financially) of managing and delivering a convincing election which will lead to a peaceful transfer of power; that there is a clean and updated voters’ roll whose compilation should be the responsibility of ZEC and not the partisan Registrar-General; that Zimbabweans in the Diaspora have a right to vote; and that soldiers return to the barracks and play no part in electoral affairs;
4. Provide for SADC, AU and UN election monitors to be deployed to Zimbabwe at least six months before any election is held and to maintain such monitors for at least another three months after the conclusion of elections in order to prevent violence and intimidation and;
5. Push the political principals in Zimbabwe to genuinely commit to finding a lasting solution to the political conflict thereby creating fertile conditions for economic and social development. Without a solid foundation of political stability and peace, any improvements in the economy will not be sustainable;
6. That all the parties should agree on regional and international observers that should be invited to monitor the elections. The minister of Foreign affairs should only invite foreign observers that have been agreed to by all the parties represented in the coalition government.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition works to promote democracy, socio-economic development, peace and security in Zimbabwe and across southern Africa.
For more information please contact:
Crisis In Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org