Keeping the pressure on Mugabe

Leading Zimbabwean activists Lovemore Madhuku (Chairman, National Constitutional Assembly) and Munjodzi Mutandiri (SA Co-ordinator, National Constitutional Assembly) addressed MEPs, NGOs and EU diplomats in the European Parliament on 6 December.


The discussion focused on the ongoing Constitutional drafting process and the need for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, who spearheads the European Parliament's campaign for democratic change in Zimbabwe commented:

"The situation in Zimbabwe continues to be of concern, and we have seen a recent upsurge in violence against those that oppose Mugabe. However, Zimbabwe's neighbours, and South Africa in particular, have at last begun to demand concrete action.

"We have always advocated an African solution to the ongoing problems in Zimbabwe, and are encouraged that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been increasingly helpful.

"Elections are not a single event but a lengthy process. They have to take place before April 2013. A road map to elections needs to be set out, and vital to this is a new Constitution. SADC, the Commonwealth and the wider international community should now do all that they can to support improved electoral arrangements, including voter registration and electoral education. There must also be complete freedom of the media and an end to all politically-motivated violence.

"The EU's "restrictive measures" which target Mugabe and his inner circle must remain in place until there is real evidence of change. These measures do not harm the Zimbabwean people, and are aimed exclusively at the clique which keeps Mugabe in power."

Geoffrey Van Orden MEP is Conservative Defence and Security Spokesman. Over many years he has initiated the European Parliament's tough resolutions on Zimbabwe. He has been personally banned by Mugabe from entering Zimbabwe.

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