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Zimbabwe crisis: SADC and AU must heed early warnings

by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
11 Jul 2016 at 13:30hrs | Views
JOHANNESBURG: The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) urges the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) to heed the early warnings from Zimbabwe as public unrest escalates in the country.

As we have indicated previously, unresolved political and economic crises post the hugely-contested July 31, 2013 elections have continuously cast a dark cloud over Zimbabwe. Over the past few weeks, reported incidents of violence in different parts of the country have borne witness to the failure of the current government to decisively and successfully deal with a collapsing economy. The disintegration of the ruling ZANU-PF, deep factionalism and failure to deal with the succession issue have exacerbated the already volatile situation.

We note with serious concern that all the gains made during the period of the government of national unity (2009-2013) have been systematically reversed, leaving the country vulnerable to conditions that do not satisfy principles of good and democratic governance but lead to uncertainty and ferment unrest.

We appreciate efforts made by the South African government in dealing with the impasse at the Beitbridge border post and its insistence on securing peace, allowing for people and goods to move freely between Zimbabwe and South Africa. We also ask that SADC and the AU take note of the current unrest in the country, included the clamping down on peaceful protest and closure of civic space. These institutions cannot sit by and watch the country continue to fall apart without making any meaningful intervention. The people of Zimbabwe have suffered long enough and it is time for a lasting solution to be found.

On the local front, we call upon the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) to exercise restraint and desist from heavy handedness in dealing with peacefully protesting and unarmed citizens. Authorities must urgently engage in a process of creating an all-inclusive platform for national dialogue toward cohesion and consensus on the twin political and economic crises bedevilling the county.

Source - Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition