CSO’s call for SADC intervention in Zimbabwe

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BY KUDAKWASHE TAGWIREYI

CRISIS in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has implored the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) to intervene in the current deteriorating political situation in Zimbabwe.

In a letter yesterday addressed to the Sadc chairperson Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, CiZC asked the regional body to address the issue of closure of democratic space in the country and deteriorating human security issues.

“This letter seeks to formally register our concerns with regards to the national state of affairs in Zimbabwe as well as the conduct of the government of Zimbabwe, a member state of the Sadc, which you currently chair. Further, we seek to formally present our recommendations on these issues,” read the CiZC letter to Chakwera.

They said the security situation in the country continued to deteriorate as the country headed towards the March 26 by-elections and 2023 plebiscite, adding that socio-economic conditions and livelihoods were also worsening.

CiCZ said a national security crisis was evolving, characterised by the government’s efforts to end civic and democratic space.

 “Zimbabwe has over the course of the last two years, seen a concerted effort by the government of Zimbabwe to severely limit and close out civic and democratic space. The country has in the past week alone, seen a sharp deterioration of the human security situation, epitomized by politically-motivated violence,” CiZC said.

The grouping, which consists of 350 civic organisation groups, said the deteriorating socio-economic situation in the country was a result of State-sanctioned corruption which was a key impediment to economic recovery and growth.

“Crony capitalism has taken root, and we have witnessed a few politically connected and exposed persons clinch the majority of state tenders,”CiZC said.

They said the recent attacks by machete-wielding gangs on opposition party supporters, use of hate speech by politicians, and the leniency of the Zimbabwe Republic Police to stop attacks on opposition party supporters was also worrying.

Sadc is yet to respond to their concerns.