Zimbabwe the violence must stop, says Action for Southern Africa

violence_during_election11 February 2011 marks the second anniversary of Zimbabwes inclusive government. It is being marked by increasing violence, threats and intimidation.

The inclusive government was supposed to provide political leadership and put an end to the polarisation, divisions, conflict and intolerance that has characterised Zimbabwean politics and society. Sadly, this has not happened.

The inclusive government can point to some achievements. Inflation has been reduced from trillions to single figures, there is economic growth, there is a media commission and although the broadcast media largely supports one party, Zanu PF there has been some diversity in the print media.

However, much of the agreement that provided the basis for the inclusive government has not been implemented in either letter or spirit. Violence and intimidation linked to elections and the control of resources, including diamonds, are becoming more widespread. The institutions of the state largely serve and support Zanu PF in direct contradiction to the agreement. In practice there is not freedom of assembly and organisation. There has been a constitutional process, but it has been marred by violence and intimidation, and is not what most Zimbabweans would describe as owned and driven by the people, which the agreement calls for.

The Zimbabwean people deserve better. There are historic injustices, most notably around land. These should be addressed in an open, transparent and non-politically partisan way, and if they are, Britain should say it is willing to assist. This is what the agreement calls for.

If the parties in the inclusive government, especially Zanu PF, were really implementing the agreement they signed, then the Zimbabwe they state they want: free of violence, fear, patronage, corruption and founded on justice, transparency, dignity and equality may be possible. If the agreement was really being implemented then there would be no rationale for the EUs targeted measures. The agreement was never perfect, nor a panacea, but it provided some hope. It needs to be properly implemented. A start would be stopping the violence now.

Tony Dykes, Director of ACTSA said, Two years into the inclusive government, there is great concern about the increase in violence in the country. The agreement that set up the inclusive government should be fully implemented. Zimbabwe cannot return to the violence experienced during the 2008 elections.

Post published in: Politics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *