The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition on October 30, 2018 met with the SADC Chairperson and President of Namibia, H.E Hage Geingob at State House in Windhoek, Namibia to brief him on the deepening political and economic crisis bedevilling Zimbabwe.
The meeting, came upon a request by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and a delegation from the Coalition presented its position to the SADC Chairperson with regards the state of affairs in Zimbabwe.
The Chairperson of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Rashid Mahiya led the discussion and called upon SADC to urgently put Zimbabwe on its agenda and find ways of resolving the deepening political and economic crisis in the country.
Briefing the SADC Chair, the Coalition’s Chairperson, Mahiya expressed concern that Zimbabwe has not fully implemented the 2013 Constitution.
He said the implementation of the constitution has been slow and there is limited movement in repealing repressive legislation which is in conflict with the constitution. He added that the Zimbabwean society continues to call for security sector and media reforms adding that another issue of concern was the non-implementation of recommendations by the SADC Election Observer Mission to facilitate for diaspora voting.
The Coalition also noted that Zimbabwe has been experiencing a perpetual economic meltdown which has resulted in high levels of inflation and an increase in domestic debt which has compromised the government’s capacity for the provision of social services.
“If left unresolved this has economic, social and security effects at a regional level. We however acknowledge efforts at attracting foreign and local investments,” the delegation warned.
Mahiya also noted that the Zimbabwean society is heavily divided and polarised and there is huge trust deficit characterised by a perpetuation of political polarisation in post-election period. And Military involvement in civilian processes is worrying.
“The events of August 01, 2018 in which the military shot 7 unarmed civilians in the full glare of both regional and international media is evidence of the above,” stressed the full briefing statement shared with President Geingob.
In his response, President Geingob committed to engage the Zimbabwean authorities and bring the concerns raised by the Coalition to the attention of SADC.
The SADC Chairperson reiterated calls for peace and stability in Zimbabwe adding that citizens and civil society should continue playing their part in holding the state to account. President Geingob hailed the initiative by the Coalition and gave assurance that follow up meetings will be conducted as a way of finding common ground with regards to the situation in Zimbabwe.
The meeting is part of the coalition’s regional lobbying efforts and follows previous engagements with the SADC secretariat in Botswana in May 2018.
Other members of the delegation included Okay Machisa (ZimRights), Wadzanayi Vere (NANGO), Rev Useni Sibanda (Zimbabwe Christian Alliance), Sandie Tjaronda Chairperson (Namibian NGO Forum Trust) and Blessing Vava, CiZC Regional Coordinator, Rev Sipho Theys (CiZC SA Board).
President Geingob was accompanied by Martin Andjaba, Minister of Presidential Affairs, Economic Advisor Ms Penny Akwenye and a Permanent Secretary in the Presidency.
Apart from the meeting with President Geingob, the delegation also met with civil society leaders in Namibia operating under the banner of Namibia NGO Forum Trust. The meeting with CSOs sought to mobilise and strengthen people to people solidarity in the SADC region. The CSO leaders resolved to strengthen regional solidarity actions amongst organisations in SADC adding that civil society should consider creating a framework for an internal dialogue on Zimbabwe.
The CiZC Regional Information & Advocacy Programme exists to amplify citizen voices into the regional space and provides regional, continental and international lobby and solidarity platforms for Zimbabwean CSOs.
The programme which is being run through the CiZC regional office based in Johannesburg, South Africa and has been key as a one-stop shop for up-to-date information on key developments (political, social and economic) in Zimbabwe and informs various stakeholders’ interventions in promoting democratization in Zimbabwe.
The stakeholders include diplomats, solidarity partners and governments in the SADC region and the African Union.