Solidarity Peace Trust reports on Zimbabwe

solidarity_peace_trustJOHANNESBURG: The human rights organization, the Solidarity Peace Trust (SPT) has released the results of a research they did on Zimbabwe exploring the options the country can pursue.

The report chronicles the plight of Zimbabweans at home and in South Africa socially, politically and economically. The report presented by professor Brian Raftopoulos the director of SPT presented some possible options for Zimbabwe. The Movement for the Democratic Change withdrawal from the Global Political Agreement (GPA) is one option which is possible. The report observes that the things which forced MDC to go into GPA still remain unresolved like using the state machinery to repress dissenting voices and some economic decline. The report also mentions that the African Union and SADC is against the withdrawal as it was observed when MDC made a brief withdrawal and was pressured to return to the GPA. The report says the belief that the African solution is the answer gives Mugabe an advantage more so because he knows that AU and SADC have a limited pressure on him. MDC withdrawal is likely to weaken the opposition both national and regional levels and leave it without a viable alternative strategy internally and no substantive regional backing. An early election is another possible alternative. Prof Roftofoulus says, MDC is capable of wining elections as it has done before in 2008 but the problem is how to transform the electoral victory into state power due to Zanu P.F s hold over the military and security apparatus in the country. The report argues that the elections would be possible only when there has been a change in constitution, electoral laws, and media reform. The report argues that Zanu P.F is likely to engage in the violent tactics used in the disputed 2008 elections. An extended power sharing period preceding new elections is another option the SPT considers. Using Kenya as an example the report says there is danger with this option. The state may use the new spaces opening up to entrench repressive culture and some conflicts within different parties is possible. The report goes on to say that this can put a stop on the constitutional making process, division in civil society over the GPA and lack of alternative strategy for the opposition. The report argues that this is the best option for Zimbabwe because any attempt to follow others will be at Zanu P.Fs advantage.

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