Written by RAPHAEL TENTHANI
BLANTYRE--Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has called for an extra-ordinary Southern African Development Committee (SADC) summit to adopt an election roadmap for Zimbabwe before elections are held.
July is the tentative month for elections in Zimbabwe subject for adoption of a new constitution following a referendum set for March.
In a statement at the end of its week-long Malawi mission, CiZC said as deputy chairperson of SADC - and the regional grouping's in-coming chairperson - Malawi was strategically-placed to deal with issues in Zimbabwe.
“We don’t have an official position of the Malawi government at the moment but they have received our statement and we will evaluate their response in due course. We are glad that our concerns have reached the top level of government,” said CiZC advocacy committee chairperson Mfundo Mlilo.
CiZC also urges SADC to ensure a peaceful transfer of power from the current inclusive government to whoever wins the elections.
In Malawi the CiZC delegation met Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda, Foreign Affairs Minister Ephraim Mganda Chiume and Presidential Advisor on NGOs Rev. MacDonald Sembereka. The delegation also met the International Relations Committee of Parliament and a select number of local civil society leaders to brief them on the situation in Zimbabwe.
CiZC, alongside local civil society organisations, have also asked for the deployment of long-term election observers once the dates for elections are set to check against electoral violence perpetrated by security agents.
“SADC has to take a more pro-active role by observing the referendum which will be a litmus test for the coming elections. The Constitution contains important provisions which if implemented can result in progressively free and fair elections,” said Mlilo.
Chairperson of Human Rights Consultative Committee Undule Mwakasungula said despite the power-sharing deal that saw the incumbent, President Robert Mugabe, ruling alongside the opposition led by Morgan Tsvangirai - who became Prime Minister, the political crisis in Zimbabwe was still simmering.
“There are still harassments, arrests and persecution of human rights defenders taking place in Zimbabwe and this still needs the attention of SADC and the AU,” Mwakasungula said.
(c) The Maravi Post 2013