The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has challenged the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) to be bold and stamp its authority in finding a lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis following disputed results of last month’s harmonised elections.
The CiZC, in a statement yesterday, said Zimbabwe’s disputed elections had a negative bearing on the region.
In the aftermath of Zimbabwe’s discredited August 23 to 24 elections, CiZC yesterday held an online discussion under the topic Zimbabwe’s Post-Election Legitimacy and Way Forward.
The organisation said the meeting concluded that it was in the best interest of the Sadc to act boldly in finding a lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis which continues to have negative effects across the region.
The conclusion was that Sadc has a critical role to play in holding the government of Zimbabwe and its institutions to account.
“There is widespread concurrence that it is in the best interest of Sadc to act boldly in finding a lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis which continues to have ramifications across the region,” the statement read.
“Sadc-facilitated all stakeholders’ dialogue process is imperative to help cure the scourge of disputed elections in Zimbabwe. The dialogue process must in no way be a political pact and in this regard, the role of civil society and other stakeholders that include the church, is critical.”
Sadc, the CiZC said, had a critical role to hold the government of Zimbabwe and its institutions to account based on the report from the Sadc electoral observer mission, adding that failure to act would set a bad precedent within the region.
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“Based on the Zimbabwean crisis post the 2023 elections, Sadc needs to stamp authority and push for transparency and credibility on elections within the region,” the organisation said.
CiZC said at the local level, there was a need for engagement with key stakeholders to set the tone for dialogue and transitional justice.
It also said there was a need to mobilise citizens to unite beyond partisan lines and push for the collective good and an imperative need for comprehensive strategies to promote women participation as voters and candidates in elections.
The opposition Citizens Coalitions for Change is pushing for fresh polls and has been lobbying the region and the African Union.