The Crisis in Zimbabwe Regional Office last week held a series of events in Johannesburg, South Africa ahead of Zimbabwe’s plebiscite on the 30th of July 2018. The activities, held in collaboration with Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum (ZSF) were part of the coalition’s regional networking programme with key stakeholders, solidarity partners and Zimbabweans living South Africa.
The activities kicked off on the 26th of July and saw a delegation from Zimbabwe led by the Coalition’s chairperson Rashid Mahiya, having a series of meetings with various key stakeholders in South Africa which included civil society organisations, solidarity movements and political parties, as they updated these key stakeholders on the state of affairs ahead of the elections.
These meetings were part of the Coalition’s efforts to put pressure on the South African government, as the Chair of SADC to ensure that Zimbabwe adheres to guidelines governing the conduct of democratic elections.
The engagements enabled the Coalition to update the key organisations on the political and electoral environment currently obtaining in Zimbabwe. Strategies were discussed for the solidarity organisations in South Africa to continue lobby the South African government on the plight of Zimbabweans.
The delegation also consisted of Tabani Moyo (Spokesperson), Tawanda Chimhini (ERC) and Thulani Mswelanto (Acting Director CiZC).
On the 28th the coalition convened a roundtable discussion at COSATU House, on the political transition in Zimbabwe which also had a particular focus on the pending elections. The discussion was attended by civic society, academia/think tanks and political parties in South Africa.
Held under the theme, “Assessing the environment ahead of Zimbabwe’s harmonized elections” speakers at the conference raised red flags concerning the way ZEC has been handling the process.
A speaker at the conference cautioned that there is need for close monitoring of the procedures and technicalities which will be carried out by the party in government during the campaigning period, Election Day and post-election period.
The half day conference was preceded by a public dialogue which saw two representatives from the two main political parties in Zimbabwe, namely ZANU PF, represented by its Secretary for Legal Affairs, Hon Paul Munyaradzi Mangwana and Hon Douglas Mwonzora, the Secretary General of the MDC Alliance presenting
their party manifestos.
The two party representatives further had a chance to engage with the delegates on the way forward for Zimbabwe, in search of the road towards socio-economic transformation in Zimbabwe.
A media briefing wrapped up the activities on Thursday 28 July 2018, with the CiZC Chairperson Rashid Mahiya reading out the position of the organisation on the pre-electoral environment and general state of affairs in Zimbabwe.