MEDIA STATEMENT: An urgent call to resolution of the social, economic and constitutional crisis in
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition urges the government of Zimbabwe to urgently address the cash crisis through proper economic fundamentals, arrest and prosecute all corrupt public officials, implement electoral reforms as directed by SADC and AU observer missions before the 2018 elections, and respect both the political, civil rights, and the social and economic rights.
We note, with concern, the wanton destruction of the economy by a kleptocratic regime led by the ruling party, Zanu PF and lack of political will and action towards effecting electoral reforms as Zimbabwe enters a period of uncertainty ahead of the next election cycle, due in 2018.
In its manifesto for the July 31 2013 harmonized elections, the ruling party, Zanu pf promised 2, 2 million jobs. That promise is now but just a pie in the sky with job cuts and company closures being the order of the day. The situation has since been exacerbated by inconsistent economic policies that have been instrumental in scaring away potential investors.
Instead of addressing the ailing and comatose economy, the government has squashed public discontent through the use of an array of legislative pronouncements and police heavy handedness when dealing with public protests that are guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The Coalition notes with concern the Zimbabwean government’s failure to revive the economy and improve citizens’ livelihoods as has been shown by the government’s ill -conceived policy to introduce the bond notes which they say will help alleviate the liquidity crunch in the country. If anything, the bond notes signal a return to the 2008 hyperinflationary era which was characterized by company closures, shortage of basic goods and services, parallel black market trading and a shortage of cash.
Public officials such as ministers, local authority directors, councillors have continuously appeared in the media as chief architects of corruption with the President standing arms akimbo while the country is being stripped of its resources. Instead the executive, in the public eye, is seen as bent on protecting corrupt government officials such as the Minister of Higher and Tertiary education Professor Jonathan Moyo and the Minister of Local Government, Public works and national housing, Hon. Savior Kasukuwere.
We are further concerned with the high levels of unrest in the country which is emanating from an economic and political crisis that has come at a time the government has chosen to be brutal against citizens calling for reforms.
Events so far have proven that the country could be headed for yet another sham poll in 2018 if electoral reforms are not urgently implemented. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it is still to begin voter registration which will only be launched in June 2017. We feel that this will disenfranchise a lot of potential voters particularly the youths and people living outside the country. We also fear that this could come with heavy costs on the livelihoods of ordinary Zimbabweans who are already reeling from the effects of a failed economy and corruption.
The stance that has been taken by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on the issue of electoral reforms as well as on the issue of the diaspora vote is a genuine cause for concern and shows a continued lack of sincerity on the part of the electoral body that has often acted as an extension of the ruling party, Zanu (PF).
In this regard, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition will continue to lobby regional, continental and international bodies to ensure that there are free and fair elections in Zimbabwe lest the country plunges into a deeper crisis.
Crisis in Zimbabwe shall continue to push for the following demands:
That the Zimbabwean government puts in place investor friendly policies, deal with country risk factors and increase investor confidence by revising its economic policies that will ensure an easy way of doing business in Zimbabwe.
That the government of Zimbabwe shelves the introduction of bond notes forthwith and deal with economic fundamentals that will ensure increase in production and economic growth.
That the government of Zimbabwe , while addressing the economic fundamentals, drops forthwith SI 64 of 2016, that we feel inhibits cross border traders from doing business , since Zimbabwe is currently an informal economy.
That in the face of the pending 2018 harmonised election, ZEC should urgently implement electoral reforms as articulated and raised by the SADC and AU observer teams in the 2013 election and abide by SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.
That ZEC operates in a professional and transparent manner and involve all stakeholders when making critical decisions that may affect the electoral terrain in Zimbabwe.
That the Zimbabwean government respects citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms such as the right to protest which is guaranteed in the country’s constitution and put an end to state brutality.
That the government of Zimbabwe consult and listen to citizens in matters that affect them including but not limited to the introduction of bond notes. The government of zimbabwe must cease to impose policy decisions on citizens and respect their fundamental right to inclusivity and participation in decision making process.
That the government of Zimbabwe should capacitate Commissions established under the country’s Constitution to promote democracy and accountability and create a conducive environment for them to effectively carry out their mandate. are well capacitated to carry
That all state apparatus distribute food and agricultural implements in a non-partisan manner.
That law enforcement agents carry out their duties in a non-partisan , constituional and non-violent manner as outlined in the country’s constitution.
That the region and international community should implore the government of Zimbabwe to align all laws with the new constitution and implement all recommendations as outlined in the just ended peer review mechanism
That SADC and the African Union insist on electoral reforms in Zimbabwe so as to ensure a credible poll in 2018.
That SADC puts Zimbabwe back on its radar in view of the already existing economic crisis and possible implosion due to succession politics in the ruling party.
For more information, interviews and enquiries, please contact:
Sally Dura OR Joy Mabenge: +27 79 668 4683
Dumisani Nkomo: +263 79 617 926
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