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Zim civil society meets SADC chair, Namibian President Heingob

By ZimRights Information Department

 

Windhoek, Namibia – A joint delegation of civil society leaders from Zimbabwe and civil society solidarity partners from the Southern African region, yesterday, met Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson and Namibian president, H.E Hage Geingob, in Windhoek, Namibia.

Members of the delegation drawn from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) and Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum (ZSF) briefed President Geingob on the political developments in Zimbabwe.

The delegation comprised of Okay Machisa, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) director, Rashid Mahiya, CiZC chairperson and Heal Zimbabwe Trust director, Wadzanai Vere, NANGO chairperson, Blessing Vava, CiZC Regional coordinator, Rev. Useni Sibanda, Christian Alliance director and CiZC chairperson of peace-building committee and CiZC Regional Board member and ZSF member, Sipho Theys.

Zimbabwean society was heavily divided and polarised with a huge trust deficit, characterised by a perpetuation of political polarisation even in post-election period, the delegation said.

“There is an unfolding economic meltdown which has witnessed high levels of inflation, an increase in the domestic debt which has compromised the government’s capacity for the provision of social services. If left unresolved this has regional economic, social and security effects,” the delegation warned.

The civil society delegation also bemoaned the increasing involvement of the military in civilian affairs in contradiction to SADC’s democratic governance standards.

The delegation said: “The state is heavily militarised.

“Since the November 17, 2017, there has been an unwarranted ubiquitous presence of the military in all spheres of the state including public spaces and a glaring interference with the day to day duties of other entities such as local authorities.

“The events of August 1 in which the military short seven unarmed civilians in the full glare of both regional and international media is evidence of this.”

The delegation highlighted the deterioration of the situation in the country following the 2018 harmonised elections, calling for SADC to facilitate political dialogue to diffuse escalating tensions.

Civil society also implored SADC together with global players interested in the Zimbabweans situation to institute dialogue for a political and economic rescue package for Zimbabwe which is predicated on political reforms Zimbabwe is currently facing a deepening economic crisis following the disputed 2018 harmonised elections which has failed to meet the international standards of free and fair elections, leaving the desperately-courted investors playing a wait-and-see game.

 

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende