Press Statement on Zimbabwe becoming the Chair of SADC at the 34th Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government

For Immediate Release

Harare -27 July 2014      The Church and Civil society Forum (CCSF), a collaborative platform of the church and civil Society organizations whose mandate is to advocate for the development of a national policy and legal framework for peace and reconciliation in Zimbabwe hereby congratulates His Excellency President Robert Gabriel Mugabe on his appointment as the Chairperson of SADC. 

CCSF regards this appointment as an opportunity for H.E President Mugabe and Zimbabwe to lead the region by example by consolidating the gains on peace, security and development through the full implementation of key constitutional provisions such as the setting up of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) as provided for in the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act, 2013 Part 6, Sec 251-253. 

The NPRC is one of Zimbabwe’s   most notable post independence efforts to ensure post conflict justice, healing and reconciliation. CCSF notes with concern the delay in the full implementation of the NPRC provision because any time lost on the ten year lifespan set out for the NPRC is a serious injustice to the people of Zimbabwe and a negative blow to the progress on the development of the infrastructure for peace.

CCSF believes that if implemented fully and in a transparent manner, the NPRC can provide a model for dealing with conflict not only in the region but in the whole of Africa. The African Union expressed its full commitment to working with Zimbabwe and SADC in order to strengthen the region’s peace and security. Through already existing linkages between the AU and SADC, Zimbabwe can drive the agenda for peace to transcend the regional confines and work with the AU in the call for peace in West and East Africa where some of the continent’s long standing instabilities caused by insurgents and extremists have been witnessed.

The 34th SADC Summit theme: “SADC Strategy for Economic Transformation: Leveraging the Region’s Diverse Resources for Sustainable Economic and Social Development through Value Addition and Beneficiation is closely aligned to Zimbabwe’s  economic blue print Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) which emphasizes  food security, poverty eradication, infrastructure resuscitation, value addition and beneficiation.  CCSF calls upon the government of Zimbabwe to urgently and effectively apply the economic road map in order to relieve the people of Zimbabwe from the continuing effects of the ‘lost decade’ of hyper inflationary environment, deindustrialisation and overall negative economic growth.

CCSF supports President Mugabe’s call in his acceptance speech for SADC to ensure democratic elections as one of the key pillars for growth and stability for the region. This can be attained through establishment of transparent electoral system in the region by forging inter and intra party democracy, effecting democratic electoral law and creating safe spaces for free, fair and equal political participation for all.

CCSF is proud of the recognition given to Zimbabwe at the SADC 34th Summit for having conferred the highest honour for a foreign national, the Order of Munhumutapa to Brigadier General Hashim Mbita of Tanzania, an outstanding contributor to Africa’s liberation.  We call upon the President of Zimbabwe and his government to follow through this gesture with practical action aimed at maintaining and consolidating the gains on peace and stability at national and regional level.

CCSF affirms its commitment to promoting peace, reconciliation, national healing and integration in Zimbabwe. 

CCSF members are:

African Community Publishing Trust (ACPD), Artists for Democracy in Zimbabwe Trust (ADZT), Baswilizi Trust, Bulawayo Agenda, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), Centre for Peace Initiatives in Africa (CPIA), Counselling Services Unit (CSU) Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), Habbakuk Trust, National Association for the Care of societies for the Handicap (NASCOH), Non-violent Action and Strategies for Social Change (NOVASC), Radio Dialogue, Silveira House , Union for Development of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe (UDACIZA), Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ), Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC), Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA), Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET), Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZIMRIGHTS), Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (NGO Forum), Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC) and Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)

 

For further details about the work of CSOs and the Church on peace building, healing and reconciliation in Zimbabwe please contact: 

The CCSF Secretariat

 c/o National Association of NGOs (NANGO), 5 Meredith Road, Eastlea, Harare

With support from: EUROPEAN UNION

 

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