THE ruling Zanu PF this week boycotted a South African Council of Churches (SACC)-organised meeting to discuss elections in Zimbabwe. Despite being invited, Zanu PF did not attend the crucial
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) attended the meeting which drew participants from South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The MDC was represented by senior officials who included its secretary-general Welshman Ncube and spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi.
Speaking yesterday after returning from the two-day conference in Pretoria, Nyathi said the meeting was “very helpful”.
“The meeting was extremely useful because it showed that more and more South Africans now understand what is going on in Zimbabwe and are seriously concerned,” Nyathi said.
“They have realised how serious the Zimbabwe crisis has become because of the growing number of Zimbabwean political and economic refugees crossing the border into their country, both legally and illegally.”
Nyathi said many countries in the region were now aware of the disastrous economic crisis engulfing Zimbabwe. He said human rights abuses, suppression of political and civil liberties could no longer be hidden behind the smokescreen of land reform and anti-imperialist rhetoric.
“Everybody now knows the disaster unfolding in Zimbabwe is due to a failed leadership and policies,” Nyathi said.
The conference was organised by the South African Council of Churches in partnership with the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), the Institute for Democratic Alternative in South Africa and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation to help Zimbabwe build consensus on the barest minimum standards for elections.