Statement by The Movement for Democratic Change on the African Union Resolution on Zimbabwe

2nd July 2008

Statement by The Movement for Democratic Change

on the African Union Resolution on Zimbabwe

The Movement for Democratic Change acknowledges the concern about the Zimbabwe crisis expressed in the resolution adopted at the 11th Ordinary Session of the African Union General Assembly.

The MDC would like to thank those African leaders who have joined the global chorus by standing on the side of the Zimbabwean people and advocating that their voices be heard.The MDC would like to thank the Pan African Parliament, SADC and AU observer missions for acknowledging the reality and pervasiveness of the violence in Zimbabwe and refusing to give the June 27th election any credibility or legitimacy.

The common conclusions of all three reports were:

A – the violence negated the credibility of the June 27 elections

B – the election did not reflect the will of the people

C – consequently the outcome is not legitimate.

If the African Union acknowledged their reports, then we in the MDC feel that their own resolution should have been consistent with them. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The MDC is concerned that:

The resolution does not adequately deal with the ongoing violence in Zimbabwe. Since the June 27 sham election, 9 MDC supporters have been murdered, hundreds more beaten and forced to leave their homes. In Manicaland alone, since the weekend, five hundred MDC supporters and families have been forced to flee their homes and are now seeking refuge at the party’s headquarters in Mutare. Therefore the MDC reiterates its call for peace in  the country.

In addition, the resolution does not recognize the illegitimacy of the June 27 elections and the fact that most African leaders refuses to recognize Mugabe as the Head of State.

Finally, the resolution endorses the concept of a Government of National Unity without acknowledging that the MDC, as the winner of the last credible elections on 29th March 2008, should be recognized as the legitimate government of Zimbabwe. A GNU does not address the problems facing Zimbabwe or acknowledge the will of the Zimbabwean people.

While the MDC remains committed to negotiations these must be based on the 29th March results and must move towards a transitional agreement. Our commitment to a negotiated settlement is not about power-sharing or power deals but about democracy, freedom and justice.  Our struggle is not about power but about democracy.

Significantly, the conditions prevailing in Zimbabwe today are not conducive to negotiations. If dialogue is to be initiated, it is essential that Zanu PF stops the violence, halts the persecution of MDC leaders and supporters, releases all political prisoners, disbands the militia bases and torture camps and that the security services halt their partisan operations.

The MDC’s reservations about the mediation process under President Mbeki are well known. It is our position that unless the mediation team is expanded to include at least one permanent representative from the African Union, and the mediation mechanism is changed, no meaningful progress can be made towards resolving the Zimbabwean crisis. If this does not happen then the MDC will not be part of such a mediation process.

The crisis in Zimbabwe requires urgent action. The violence, intimidation, hunger and suffering must be addressed as soon as possible. Zimbabweans cannot afford any more confusion or delays. Zimbabweans can no longer afford to listen to words that are not reinforced by action.

The past two weeks have illustrated just how much support the people of Zimbabwe have on the continent and across the world. The MDC will continue to work towards resolving the crisis  which is worsening daily.

Zimbabweans, let me take this opportunity to assure you are not alone. As your leaders, we will never stop struggling on your behalf for a new Zimbabwe that offers hope, prosperity and freedom.  We will never compromise betray these ideals.

I thank you.

Movement for Democratic Change Head Office
Harvest House

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