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Ibbo Mandaza and friend petition SADC, AU to front establishment of ZImbabwe Transitional Govt

by Staff reporter
02 Sep 2023 at 20:44hrs | Views
IN the aftermath of a disputed plebiscite, civil society organisations have demanded the intervention of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to create a Transitional Government in Zimbabwe.

The country is gripped in anxiety after the announcement of the general election results which have become a subject of concern in the political arena.

Zanu-PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared a winner of the plebiscite garnering 52.6 percent to retain the presidency.

This year's election has been condemned by the opposition and civil society groups who argue it was flawed and skewed in favour of Mnangagwa.

In a petition to SADC and the African Union (AU), researchers Tony Reeler and Ibbo Mandaza called on regional bodies to front the establishment of a transitional government as a way forward from the political impasse the country is in.

"Once again a Zimbabwean election fails the test of credibility. However, the 2023 Harmonised Elections have failed the test so comprehensively that even the reputable regional and international observers are for once are in agreement that this election has failed. The main opposition and many civil society organisations have condemned the election, as have many ordinary citizens," read the petition.

The petition further read: "By any measure the Zimbabwean government since 2017 has shown no ability to reform, either politically or economically, and to create the conditions that could lead to an election that is free, fair, and credible. The coup in 2017 did not usher in a new dispensation but a continuation of the kind of governance that has led to the 2023 result.

"There needs to be a new way to resolve the crisis that this election has now deepened further, and not in the way that the crisis of 2008 was managed.

"The way forward must be bold and innovative, recalling the manner in which the Rhodesian crisis was dealt with. This must require the following:

"The establishment of an Eminent Persons Group, tasked with negotiating the establishment of a Transitional Government, composed of political parties and other major citizen groupings.

"The negotiations must be broad-based, including political parties, civil society, churches, labour, women, and other citizen groupings."

Zimbabwe's elections have received condemnation from foreign observer missions saying it failed to pass the credibility test.

However Harare and Zanu-PF leaders claim elections' results are credible, rubbishing preliminary foreign observer reports.

The petition – which by the time of writing had attracted 17 500 signatures – says the transnational government should return Zimbabwe to constitutionalism and elbow out military from civilian affairs.

"The Transitional Government should set up with a clear and specific set of reforms that must be achieved. The resolution of the coup and the amendment to the Constitution allowing untrammelled military interference in civilian affairs.

"Full adherence to constitutionalism, the rule of law, and human rights. The reform of critical state institutions. The stabilising of the economy, with a pro-poor emphasis. The establishment of a sovereign fund to ensure the country benefits form Zimbabwe's bountiful resources.

"Complete overhaul of all the election machinery and legislation to ensure that the election that follows the period of the Transitional Government will lead to an election that meets regional and international standards," read the petition.

Source - NewZimbabwe
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