Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition calls for the urgent intervention of SADC and African Union on the unfolding crisis in Zimbabwe

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Coalition (CiZC) wishes to applaud the regional and global response from solidarity partners, political parties, leading celebrities under the hashtag #Zimbabweanlivesmatter in calling out the government of Zimbabwe to end human rights violations and violence against citizens. 

We particularly take note of the statements by the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (COSATU), and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for taking the bold move in calling out President Mnangagwa and standing in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe at this hour of need and the clarion call for regional bodies like the SADC and the African Union to intervene.

The loud calls show that the Harare administration has been isolated and thus we reiterate our persistent calls to SADC and the African Union to urgently intervene and find a solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe.

As the Crisis Coalition, we urge SADC, the AU and the international community to urgently intervene and call for an all-inclusive national dialogue on Zimbabwe’s future.

We reaffirm that Zimbabwe’s dialogue process must involve all stakeholders. Relegating dialogue to political parties risks producing an elite pact that is in dissonance with the citizen’s interests.

We call upon Zimbabweans from across societal cleavages (political, religious, civic, business and labour) to engage in collective dialogue on the fundamental challenges facing the country and fashion a shared vision that moves the country towards democratization and away from the twin crises of poor governance and illegitimacy.

The dialogue must also involve a national visioning process that has civil society, government, political parties, business, religious groups and labour unions among other critical stakeholders.

The dialogue process should produce a clearly timed roadmap to the demilitarisation of civilian political processes and the restoration of normalcy by focusing on key political, economic and social reforms. In this regard, we call for FULL CONSULTATION of all stakeholders rather than cosmetic processes.

Creating a conducive environment that will allow stakeholders to freely share ideas on transitional alternatives is key in laying the foundations for meaningful dialogue. A conducive environment is a crucial confidence and trust-building step in the national dialogue. Coupled with the creation of an enabling environment, political actors must develop a culture that conforms to the Constitution and comply with rules of the “game” that creates an even playing field. Creating a conducive environment means that Zimbabwe must immediately undertake to:

  1. Immediately release all political prisoners, end torture, abductions and enforced disappearances, murder, rape and maiming civilians by the military, state security agents and vigilante groups
  2. Decriminalize the work of civic society and end the continued persecution and arbitrary arrests of civic society leaders and trade unionists and release political prisoners.
  3. Ensure that peace and human security prevail to allow all stakeholders to freely express their views on the national dialogue process
  4. Stop attempts at weakening the Constitution through amendments meant to further interests of individuals.
  5. Promote fair media coverage for all stakeholders and allow divergent views to be shared on all media platforms.

To achieve a peaceful and thriving democracy, it is important that civilian life and political processes be devoid of military interference. Demilitarising efforts must focus on the following:

  • Full implementation of the Spirit of the Constitution, with particular focus on Section 210.
  • Security personnel must be inducted and continuously trained in the fields of domestic and international human rights
  • The immediate and unconditional withdrawal of army personnel deployed in the streets of Zimbabwe.

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