Zimbabwe Civil Society Organizations Joint Statement on Military Takeover

We the undersigned civil society organizations guided by the Constitution express our concern over the political developments in Zimbabwe, today Wednesday 15 November 2017. We call for the peaceful and constitutional resolution of the situation and the immediate return of Constitutional order and democracy in Zimbabwe. As civil society we reiterate our position that the political transition in Zimbabwe must be guided by the Constitution and should adhere to all full tenets of democracy enshrined in it that include a multi-party democratic political system. We condemn any actions, attempts and interests to attain state power outside constitutional provisions. We believe that the solution to Zimbabwe’s socio economic and political problems should be a product of an inclusive all stakeholder process.

  1. In the interest of peace, stability and progress in Zimbabwe, we urge President Mugabe to voluntarily step down and pave way for an all-inclusive all stakeholder process which will determine the future of Zimbabwe.
  2. We implore and would want to remind the Zimbabwe Defense Forces that they have an obligation and duty to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution. We expect and demand that they fulfill their obligation by issuing a clear and quickly implementable roadmap to restoring constitutional order in Zimbabwe.
  3. In pursuit of our rights and obligations to the Constitution as citizens we urge the people of Zimbabwe to remain peaceful and freely contribute to their preferred way forward and solution to the current crisis.
  4. We call on SADC to be the arbiter and allow an inclusive dialogue with political parties, civil society, church, labour, students and other critical stakeholders. We implore SADC to take a leaf from the active and constructive role ECOWAS has played in its sub-region in countries such as in Mali, Burkina and The Gambia in demanding and pressuring authorities to swiftly restore constitutional orders and protect citizens rights
  5. We call on Parliament of Zimbabwe to uphold and fulfill their constitutional obligations by:
    1. Creating conditions for the swift realignment of key laws to the constitution including the Electoral Act paving way for the conduct of credible free and fair election in 2018;
    2. Repealing legislations that dilute progressive provisions of the constitutions such as the Cyber-Security Act,
    3. Immediately discard Constitutional Amendment Bill No.1 of 2017 to safeguard the independence of the judiciary;
    4. Restoring citizens freedoms of assembly and speech by amending restrictive laws such as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA)
    5. Liberalize the media space;
    6. Ensuring civil servants neutrality in the political processes in line with Constitution

We reiterate our position that events in Zimbabwe pose serious security challenges for ordinary citizens and the global democratic order and restate our commitment to defend the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s political transition must be guided by the Constitution and a firm commitment made to uphold the Rule of Law. •

1. Achieve Your Goal Trust (AYGT)
2. African Self-help Assistance Programme (ASAP)
3. Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union Zimbabwe (ARTUZ)
4. Artists for Democracy Trust (ADZT)
5. Build a Better Youth Zimbabwe (BABY Zim)
6. Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA)
7. Bulawayo Vendors Traders Association (BVTA)
8. Bulawayo Youth Arise (BUYA)
9. Centre for Community Development Zimbabwe (CCDZ)
10. Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG)
11. Centre for Youth Development Trust (CYDT)
12. Chinhoyi Residents Trust
13. Chitungwiza Centre for Community Development (CCDN)
14. Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association (CAMERA)
15. Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST)
16. Christian Legal Aid Society
17. Christian Voice International Zimbabwe (CVIZ)
18. Civic Education Network (CIVNET)
19. Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
20. Community Working Group on Health (CWGH)
21. Community Water Alliance (CWA)
22. Counselling Services Unit (CSU)
23. Disability Amalgamation Community Trust (DACT)
24. Doors of Hope
25. Ecumenical Support Services (ESS)
26. Election Resource Centre (ERC)
27. Federation of African Women Media in Zim (FAWMZ)
28. Female Students Network (FSN)
29. Gays and Lesbians Association in Zimbabwe (GALZ)
30. General and Plantation Workers Union in Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ)
31. Godlwayo Community Development Trust
32. Gwanda Residents Association
33. Gweru East Residents Association
34. Habakkuk Trust
35. Heal Zimbabwe Trust
36. International Revolutionary League (RILFI)
37. Institute of Young Women and Development (IYWD)
38. Japa Edutaiment Trust
39. Katswe Sistahood
40. Legal Resources Foundation (LRF)
41. Masvingo Human Rights Trust
42. Masvingo Research Institute (MRI)
43. Masvingo Residents Trust (MRT)
44. Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Association (MURRA)
45. Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA)
46. Media Monitoring Project in Zimbabwe (MMPZ)
47. Mission to Live Trust
48. Mutasa Youth Forum Trust
50. National Movement of Catholic Student (NMCS)
51. National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (NAVUZ)
52. National Youth Development Trust
53. News of the South
54. Nhimbe Trust
55. Non-Violent Actions for Social Change (NOVASC)
56. Padare
57. Platform for Youth Development (PYD)
58. Plumtree Development Trust (PDT)
59. Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe
60. Radio Dialogue
61. Reconciliation Trust
62. Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR)
63. Savannah Trust
64. Shalom Trust
65. #SheVotes
66. Student Christian Movement in Zimbabwe
67. Students and Youth Working on Reproductive Health Rights (Saywhat)
68. Students Solidarity Trust (SST)
69. #Tajamuka
70. Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ)
71. Uhuru Network
72. United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust (UMRRT)
73. Veritas
74. Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET)
75. Victory Siyanqoba Trust
76. Wedza Community Development Trust (WERDIT)
77. Women in Leadership and Development (WILD)
78. Women in Politics Support Unit (WIPSU)
79. Women in Politics Support Unit (WIPSU)
80. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
81. Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)
82. Women’s Trust
83. Young Voices Network (YVN)
84. Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT)
85. Youth Agenda Trust (YAT)
86. Youth Agrarian Society (YAS)
87. Youth Alliance for Democracy (YAD)
88. Youth Dialogue Action Network
89. Youth Dialogue Network (YODAN)
90. Youth Environmental Management and Protection Trust (YEMAP)
91. Youth Forum Zimbabwe
92. Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA)
93. Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC)
94. Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET)
95. Zimbabwe Coalition of Debt Development (ZIMCODD)
96. Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)
97. Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI)
98. Zimbabwe Doctors’ for Human Rights (ZADHR)
99. Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)
100. Zimbabwe Farmers Union Development Trust
101. Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZIMRIGHTS)
102. Zimbabwe Institute (ZI)
103. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
104. Zimbabwe Liberators Platform (ZLP)
105. Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU)
106. Zimbabwe NGO Human Rights Forum
107. Zimbabwe Organisation of Youth in Politics (ZOYP)
108. Zimbabwe Pastors Forum (ZPF)
109. Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)
110. Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights (ZPHR)
111. Zimbabwe United Residents Association (ZURA)
112. Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA)
113. Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre & Network (ZWRCN)
114. Zimbabwe Young Women’s Network for Peacebuilding (ZYWNP)
115. Zimbabwe Youth Movement (ZYM)

Zimbabwe Military Must Step Aside for National Reconciliation

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has called for the Zimbabwean military to step aside immediately to allow civilian control of the government and the establishment of a process of national reconciliation. Having seized power, the military is now holding the country’s president, Robert Mugabe, under house arrest.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said, “This is an unconstitutional move from the military to remove a president who has himself repeatedly violated the Constitution and fundamental civil rights. Mugabe has plundered the Zimbabwean economy and driven the vast majority of the population into severe poverty, but that cannot excuse the actions of the military, which have no place in a democracy even where the government is in such disarray as in Zimbabwe today. The rule of law must be paramount, and the people of the country must be allowed to chart a new course for Zimbabwe through a civilian-led process of national reconciliation based on respect for democracy and human rights.”

The military move follows turmoil within the ruling ZANU-PF party, focused largely on Mugabe’s efforts to handover power to his wife, Grace Mugabe. Following charges of assault on a woman in South Africa in August, Grace Mugabe was given diplomatic immunity by her husband’s government, and she is currently in dispute with a diamond merchant over a ring worth $1.35-million (U.S.). She is demanding repayment of the cost of the ring to a Dubai bank account which she controls.

“Zimbabweans, and the international community, will not lament the likely end of the Mugabe era with the ruling clique notorious for its lack of regard for ordinary people while amassing vast wealth for itself. Nevertheless, military rule is never acceptable, and Zimbabwe’s army chiefs must step aside immediately, freedom of the press must be restored, and other fundamental rights including freedom of association and assembly must be fully respected.

“The international trade union movement stands in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, and will closely monitor developments to ensure their democratic rights,” Burrow added. •