On the 1st Zimbabwe Global Solidarity Day which coincides with international peace month as well as the assertion of heritage in South Africa, Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum- South Africa (ZSF-SA) recognises the milestones achieved in peace building, democracy and human rights in the Southern African Development Community region after the fall of decades of apartheid rule in 1994. However, the SADC region is not free as long as the people of Zimbabwe are under insurgency and mayhem. Peace is an indispensable element of human rights and democracy. In addition, the participation of citizens in public policy and decision making processes is unavoidable. It is impossible to imagine the sustainable development of the region, while chaos reigns in any part of the region.
Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum is joining the masses in Zimbabwe consisting of Civil Society Organisations, activists, the grassroots, trade unions, journalists, human rights defenders, faith-based organisations, opposition parties and private sector organisations in mobilising the world not to shun away from the political, economic and social crisis obtaining in Zimbabwe. The effect that this avoidance of responsibility has had on the region, is devastating. ZSF therefore calls on the SADC Chairperson to use regional mechanisms to protect the people of Zimbabwe against the violations of their human rights, which include their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly. We strongly believe that if the SADC region guarantees the Zimbabwe citizenry their rights, this will contribute positively in building a culture of peace, unity and social cohesion in the region. The high handed oppressive rule of law bespeaks a flawed governance and will continue to erupt in the public sector because of the discontent of large tracts of the population.
We dedicate this 1st Zimbabwe Global Solidarity Day as a contribution to exerting pressure on the Government of Zimbabwe, immediately and unconditionally to release all political activists, journalists, HRDs, trade unionists, students, civil society activists and dissenters for exercising their constitutional right of speaking against corruption and impunity pertaining in Zimbabwe.
We recommend the following;
- An end to reprisals, abductions and forced disappearances of those who have raised their voices against human rights violations.
- A Call on the SADC chairperson to ensure the implementation of human rights mechanisms which hold the government of Zimbabwe accountable. This would include the prosecution of perpetrators
for murder and human rights violations. Serious consideration must be given to the compensation of victims.
- A Call on the Government of Zimbabwe to respect and comply with regional and international human rights obligations. This would imply an end to impunity. Furthermore we would encourage a strategy for creating peace be devised as a way of enhancing stability in Zimbabwe and the region.