LOCAL civic groups say they will lobby for renewed international pressure on President Robert Mugabe’s administration at the European Union-Africa Summit in Belgium in April to force it to align the country’s laws with the new Constitution and fight high-level corruption.
BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
Mugabe, who was recently elected African Union (AU) vice-chair, will be among African leaders who are scheduled to attend the high-profile summit in Brussels.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) chairman, Dewa Mavhinga said Mugabe’s lackadaisical approach towards dealing with his corrupt loyalists formed a fresh basis towards putting the Zimbabwean story back on the international radar.
“There is scope for civil society to lobby, which is a significant scope because the crisis in Zimbabwe continues to manifest. It is changing its character. What we see now is more prominence to economic governance crisis which relates directly to livelihoods for the citizens of Zimbabwe and we need the international community to have a closer look at this as it engages Zimbabwe,” said Mavhinga.
The CiZC boss further said Zimbabwe risked squandering the little gains towards full democracy achieved during the unity government era if the international community failed to intervene.
“The interventions that we will be looking for [during the summit] are that there must be standards and values that must apply to countries in the international community, Zimbabwe included,” Mavhinga said.
“There is no space for embracing Zimbabwe without adherence to those minimum standards. This relates to its attitude towards corruption.”
Several managers running the country’s loss-making parastatals and municipalities have been accused of corruptly awarding themselves hefty salaries and perks in what was dubbed the “Salary-gate”.
Last week, three senior managers at Air Zimbabwe were arrested on allegations of corruption that prejudiced the national airline of millions of dollars.