Zimbabweans’ Lives are in the African Union Hands

Zimbabweans' Lives are in the African Union Hands.

As the African Union discusses the Zimbabwe crisis in Egypt today, it is of paramount importance that our brothers and sisters on the continent take cognizance of the fact the Mugabe regime is illegitimate and that this illegitimate regime continues to unleash violence against Zimbabwean citizens. 

For example, yesterday, even during his “inauguration”, his militia continued to attack and abduct innocent people.  Dead bodies were still being discovered and people continue to tremble in fear that they may be punished during this new “Operation Red Finger” for not having a red finger indicating they had voted.   

The Mugabe regime cannot constitute a legitimate and authoritative government. Delegitimized by the few African observer groups invited into the country, the electoral process that began 29 March now remains incomplete, and the regime illegal. 

Zimbabwe has a constitutional crisis. The point must be made loud and clear that the election was a farce and even under Zimbabwe’s repressive laws, illegal. It goes without saying that MDC cannot therefore recognize Mr. Mugabe as the duly-elected President of Zimbabwe.  

As Zimbabwe’s instability escalates to a point that it endangers regional peace, prosperity and security, the MDC reiterates its position that the Zimbabwean crisis is an African problem that requires an African solution.


MDC has expressed deep concern over President Mbeki’s role in the past, and we reiterate our view that he is too partial to be an exclusive mediator in the transition process. To this end, MDC calls for expanded African involvement in the crisis. 

We do note with appreciation the strong words of support for the people of Zimbabwe from Africa’s leaders, and the almost unequivocal condemnation of the recent illegitimate electoral charade expressed by statesmen around the world.  

Now, however, is the time for action to follow these important declarations of illegitimacy and invalidity.  Aware of the importance today’s AU deliberations, MDC would like to take this opportunity to restate, for avoidance of doubt, a summary of its position.  MDC calls for: 

The immediate cessation of violence and the withdrawal and disbanding of militia groups, paramilitary camps and illegal road blocks.  

The normalization of the political environment, including the release of all political prisoners, cessation of political persecution, and allowing the currently besieged MDC leadership to conduct normal business and travel without hindrance.  

Rejection of the results of the 27 June one-man election, the conditions of which were condemned by both the AU-sponsored Pan African Parliament and SADC observers.


Recognition that, because the 27 June election was globally condemned as illegitimate, the electoral process remains incomplete and an urgent solution is therefore required.


Recognition that the way forward must unconditionally reflect the will of the people, as expressed during the last legitimate election held — 29 March.  

The reinstatement of access by humanitarian organizations to the people of Zimbabwe in order to provide food, medical and other critical services throughout the country.  

In addition, the MDC repeats its appeal to the AU: 

To join leadership of the mediation process, supported by the United Nations, and urgently appoint up to three eminent African envoys to work full time on the crisis until it is resolved.  

The MDC would again like to clarify for the avoidance of doubt that the MDC National Executive: 

Has not requested military intervention in Zimbabwe, but calls for the deployment of an African Union Police Force to protect citizens from state-sponsored violence and to restore law and order.  

While MDC is committed to participate in a transitional arrangement, at present, no discussions are underway about this process, or a Government of National Unity, notwithstanding media reports to the contrary.  Even behind so-called closed doors, there are no negotiations taking place between President Tsvangirai and the ZANU PF regime.  

Is not party to any discussions or any information about transitional arrangements amongst any other Zimbabweans or political parties that took part in the 29 March electoral process.  

As outlined in our 25 June statement, MDC remains committed to participating in a properly constituted transitional agreement that could allow the MDC to form an inclusive government to heal the country, restore peace, economic stability and lay the foundation for a new constitution and internationally supervised elections once that constitution has been ratified by the people of Zimbabwe.  

In short, we appeal to the African Union to urgently take the political steps necessary to stop the violent loss of innocent life in Zimbabwe. If the AU fails to provide firm and decisive leadership on this issue, the consequences could be catastrophic.  

At this critical moment in the history of our country, we ask the African Union to acknowledge the choice made by the majority of Zimbabweans on 29 March and respect the wishes expressed by the people on that day.  

Notwithstanding the escalating political and economic crisis, the people of Zimbabwe have not lost hope. They still believe that the Zimbabwe of their imagination – a Zimbabwe of jobs, economic prosperity, health care and education for all, their right to choose a democratic people centered government – is still possible.  The African Union must help them make this a reality.

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