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Civic Society calls for early observer deployment

CIVIL society organisations on Friday submitted a petition to Mozambican authorities pleading with Sadc to ensure that Zimbabwe institutes key reforms ahead of elections.


The Constitutional Court recently ordered President Robert Mugabe to proclaim election dates and have the polls held by July 31 this year.

But other political parties including the two MDC formations and civil society insist that the elections must only be held after key reforms are made to ensure a level playing field.

The petition was presented to the Mozambican Foreign Affairs ministry, the Joachim Chissano Foundation and will also be distributed at a Sadc extraordinary summit to be held at a date yet to be announced.

Among the key concerns for the civil society groups was that Sadc send an observer mission to Zimbabwe to assess the pre-electoral environment.

“We request Sadc to constitute and deploy an observer mission to Zimbabwe to monitor key electoral processes and assess the pre-electoral environment as soon as possible, preferably before the expiry of the life of parliament, June 29,” reads part of the petition.

Zimbabwean civil societies fear that the country is hurtling towards an election without key reforms and this will be detrimental to democracy, leading to a disputed election, as with the 2008 polls.

The last elections were bloody and MDC-T claims that 200 of its supporters were killed by Zanu PF militia and State security agents as they tried to prop up President Robert Mugabe, who lost to MDC leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai however, failed to garner enough votes to claim presidency, leading to the formation of the Government of National Unity.

The civil society organisations said it was important that the Sadc observer mission be deployed early, as there were already signs that there was a clampdown on dissenting political players and the media.

“Civil society members, journalists working for the private media and specifically targeted party members are being harassed, assaulted and arrested on a continuous basis,” the petition continues. “The violence against ordinary citizens is turning up in volume, as we head towards elections.”

Ahead of the voter registration exercise set to start on Monday (tomorrow), the civic society, under the umbrella of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, raised concern that in the past there had not had access to the voters’ roll and when they did, they realised that it was in shambles.

“For the past few elections, we have not had access to the voters’ roll, even though it is public information,” the petition reads. “When we have been able to have sight of this very important document, we have noticed that it was a mess.

Among the key reforms the organisations are calling for, are a proper voter registration exercise, followed by a non-partisan voter registration exercise, a professional security services sector and media reforms.

The organisations also asked Sadc, if it was going to help fund the elections, to ensure that the funding came with conditions that Zimbabwe was committed to following the Sadc guidelines on free and fair elections.

The organisations were in Mozambique ahead of a Sadc summit which was set to deliberate on political problems in Zimbabwe, but the meeting was postponed indefinitely after Zanu PF asked for more time to study a ruling by the Constitutional Court which ordered Mugabe to proclaim election dates and have the polls held by July 31 this year.

11 Responses to Civic Society calls for early observer deployment

  1. john ndebele June 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    Which ever way we look at it elections are long overdue the GNU was supposed to last for 18 months now it has gone full cycle 60 months and the ruling confirmed the interpretation of the constitution stating that Zimbabwe is a constitutional democracy and for that democracy to exist all the pillars should be operational that elections in Zimbabwe must be held when there are due that is on or before expiration of term of office of parliament and that citizen have a right to enforce their democratic rights if the executive infringes or neglects their duty. This judgement is sound at law and confirms the principles of democracy now for NGO to advocate for the rule by decree especially a president that has been vilified as a dictator is indeed surprising and mind boggling.

  2. Tafirenyika June 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    All this cacophony about the so-called reforms will come to grief. We need elections now! Our consent to SADC must not be viewed as a surrender of our sovereignty. Let Zuma and his team of empty shells be warned. They have totally nothing to teach us.

    • YAKOVU June 13, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

      If you needed Zuma in 2008 to help salvage a bad situation,you surely will need them now since you havent done enough to prevent another 2008.If your hands are clean,do you need to fear anything?

  3. Gutter Poet June 9, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    @Tafi- Zuma was appointed by the AU in conformity with SADC and the ppolitical players in Zimbabwe…you can not wish him away because he does not agree with your lordship Tafi..Zuma calls the shots not by himself but on behalf of ordinary Zimbabweans on both sides of the political aisle, SADC, AU and by extenstion the UN itself, a rather powerful position he finds himself. So the sooner you learn to live with this reality the more manageable your temperature blood pressure.

  4. Gutter Poet June 9, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    Above post should read ‘temperature and blood pressure’

  5. Asylum June 9, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    @John Ndebele & Tafirenyika, your party Zanu pf does not & will never have enough support 2 win elections unless if they rig. That’s Y they want 2 rush 4 elections. Viva MDC-T the pple’s party!! Asvotwa ngaarutse

  6. chibatamoto June 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    i shudder to think what will happen if MDC-T wins these elecions

  7. Stop-a-Thief June 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    (Mark Anthony in Julius Ceasar)
    Scene II, Enter Mugabe and his Deadwood, and a throng of Zimbabwean Citizens:

    Friends, Zimbabweans, so-called aliens & 18 year olds, lend me your ears;
    We have come to bury Mugabe, not to praise him;
    The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with Nehanda’s bones;
    Here, under leave of Mugabe and the rest-
    For Mugabe is an unhonourable man;
    So are they all, all unhonourable men-
    Refuse I to speak at Mugabe’s funeral….
    Vanhu Havachada zanupf!!

  8. Rasta June 15, 2013 at 6:22 am #

    Tsvangirai will rule the country through my vote and others

  9. Inini June 15, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    Do u tell me kuti zveshuwa shuwa Mugabe akadzidza myself l doubt very much

  10. charira-chinja June 16, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    common sense always prevail.maputo icho charira

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