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African Union must insist on using its own mechanisms

If the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 is to fulfil its aspirations, then it needs to ensure that it has capable and progressive leadership at the helm. This was said by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Speaking at a media briefing held ahead of the AU Heads of State Summit, CiZC said the AU risked postponing various initiatives and frameworks by refusing to be accountable in the now.

“If the famed African Union Agenda 2063 is to become a reality,” a statement released read, “then the AU itself must begin to show progressive leadership and demand accountability from its own. Otherwise we risk developing yet another framework come 2063 when it becomes apparent that nothing has been achieved.”

CiZC also said that the AU had discredited itself by having Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe, at its helm. This, the organisaation said, had proved that there was a political leadership deficit in Africa.

Said CiZC in a statement: “The occasion of the AU Heads of Summit…presents the continental body with yet another opportunity to redeem itself and prove that it is on the side of the African people; that it values the dignity of African people; that it pursues Justice for the African people; and that it listens to the people of Africa.”

The organisation presented two recommendations to the African Union, saying this would enhance its reputation and restore credibility. These recommendations are that:

  • The AU must strengthen its peer review mechanism, which we believe can be an entry point to attending to challenges affecting Zimbabwe and other countries in the continent. There is no doubt that the Government of Zimbabwe must be forced to speak to its citizens and broader political society to find a common national vision.

  • The AU must condemn the Xenophobic attacks in South Africa and must insist on clear and visible steps by South Africa that will prevent the outbreak of this violence in the future. In the same breadth, the African leaders must have an honest discussion about the need to ensure that political and economic conditions in individual countries such as Zimbabwe do not unnecessarily push out citizens who end up being subject to such brutal attacks as they seek sanctuary in other African states.

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