President Zuma was appointed by SADC as facilitator of the Zanu (PF)/MDC dialogue in 2008, but he has hitherto failed to hold Mugabe accountable, neither to the Global Political Agreement which he signed, nor to the resolutions made by three successive SADC Summits, nor to agreements that MDC and Zanu (PF) negotiators made in their SADC-mediated talks.
The last straw was President Zuma’s call, through his spokesperson Ms. Lindiwe Zulu, for Zimbabweans to be patient, as reported in the Daily News yesterday. It is as if we are back to the quiet diplomacy of President Mbeki, now being perfected by President Zuma. Ms. Zulu should tell us why we are renegotiating what has already been agreed upon, literally flipping the script on us and making it look as if the MDC is demanding fresh reforms.
Revolutions have been conceived and executed and elections held, or due to be held in Tunisia and Egypt while Mr. Zuma is still trying to organize one election. Mr. Zuma should also understand that there is a cost in human lives being lost in Zimbabwe while this procrastination over agreed reforms is going on.
How much more patient should we be, before we conclude that President Zuma’s action is no different from Thabo Mbeki's, who denied from the onset that there was a crisis in Zimbabwe. And we find it rather audacious of Ms. Zulu to say that the MDC has not been forthcoming with their demands when we have seen numerous correspondences and press releases from the MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai clearly articulating the conditions that are needed for free, fair and indisputable elections.
The same conditions have been articulated by the SADC itself and by a multitude of civic organizations, as well as the 21st Movement's Free Zimbabwe Global Protest, over the past four months in petitions posted for President Zuma at SA Embassies worldwide.
The world is watching and we are collecting empirical evidence which points to SA's complicity in the ongoing Zimbabwean Crisis. Round 4 of our protests, on Saturday April 21, will be the final round where we target just SA Embassies. We have sufficient evidence to take the protest to the next level.
In Round 5, starting May 21st, we will shift focus and take our petitions to South Africa's SADC peers, exposing SA’s failure to enforce the implementation of the SADC-brokered Global Political Agreement and her complicity in letting the political situation deteriorate. We will continue to escalate our demands right up to the UN Security Council.
This Saturday the Free Zimbabwe Global Protest demonstrations will be held in Washington DC, London, South Africa and Australia, with the Washington and London protests culminating in Independence commemorations in the evening.
We demand that President Zuma make a public statement that he, as the SADC Facilitator is demanding that Zanu (PF) implement the agreed reforms, and that he is not going to allow the holding of elections in Zimbabwe which do not meet the SADC standards. So far we have only heard it from his spokesperson, and we are starting not to believe it.
In the US all MDC-USA Districts will converge in Washington DC for a combined demonstration at the SA Embassy on Massachusetts Av which will be followed by a dinner fundraiser to commemorate Independence Day. Commencing with a rally at St. Luke’s UMC, 3655 Calvert St. NW, Washington DC, 20007 at 11:00AM, followed by the Global Protest march at the SA Embassy, 3051 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington DC, 20008 at 2:00PM, the day will end with the Dinner Fundraising Gala starting at 8:00PM at Rendezvous Center, 11910 Parklawn Dr, Rockville, MD 20852 and the Independence Party starting thereafter at 10:00PM at the same venue.
In London MDC Midlands South District is joining hands with the Vigil, which holds protests outside the Zimbabwean Embassy every Saturday, to lead a demonstration that will culminate in presenting a petition to Prime Minister David Cameron.
The UK demonstrators will be calling on the PM Cameron to use the UK’s position on the Security Council to ensure that the next election in Zimbabwe is free and fair. As Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) is clearly not interested in holding free and fair elections, the demonstrators will be demanding that the United Nations supervise the electoral process.
The London demonstrations will start at the Zimbabwean Embassy at 1:30pm and move to the South African Embassy at 2:30, before moving to No 10 Downing Street for a 4.15 presentation to David Cameron of the petition which has over 12,000 signatures of people from all over the world who have passed through the Vigil.
David Cameron made an undertaking to Morgan Tsvangirai to do what he can to ensure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. The letter accompanying the petition will therefore thank PM Cameron for his promise to help Zimbabwe hold free and fair elections, and it will ask him to pass the petition to the UN Security Council.
SADC promised last year to send three delegates to help monitor the implementation of the Global Political Agreement, but none has yet arrived. We have been told for months that President Zuma is to visit Harare to bang Principals’ heads together.
Instead President Zuma’s spokesperson on Zimbabwe, Ms Zulu, was quoted in the Press last week saying her boss was not there to babysit the Zimbabwean crisis. We do not believe anyone in Zimbabwe is asking him to babysit, simply to live up to his international obligations.
If he has failed to get Mugabe to implement the SADC resolutions, he should say so and report as much to SADC, rather than dragging the situation, now into its fourth year without any solution or sense of urgency.
We fear a scenario in which Zanu PF, in desperation because of Mugabe’s failing health, collapses the GNU, calls elections and again bludgeons its way to a victory. Rather than wait for this crisis to happen, we believe the international community should stop it now and force Mugabe to abide by, and respect, the agreement which allowed him to remain as President.
He did not win any election and is in power because of the Global Political Agreement, which calls for him to create conditions that are conducive to free and fair elections before any election is held.
After the London demonstration MDC South East District will host Independence celebrations while at the same time remembering all those who have died at the hands of, and those who are being persecuted by, the Mugabe regime.
The MDC UK Youth Assembly will be remembering the Youth President Solomon Madzore who is still in custody with no bail for over six months now, with the launch of the Free Madzore t-shirt. There will be popular Chimurenga music and good food at:
24 Briar Road,
New Testament Church Hall.Post published in: Africa News