By Staff Writer
THE Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has urged the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to act boldly in holding the Harare administration following the convening of disputed elections.
Zimbabwe went for polls on August 23 and 24 after which the entire process attracted backlash and criticism from local and foreign observer missions who described the process as flawed.
Even the historically cautious SADC brazenly criticized the process plunging the polls outcome into legitimacy crisis.
In the aftermath of Zimbabwe’s discredited 2023 elections, the CiZC on September 21, 2023 held an online discussion under the topic, “Zimbabwe’s Post-Election Legitimacy Crisis : What’s Next?
The discussion saw both Regional and Local participants giving their input into the contentious topic.
In a statement, CiZC said participants called on SADC to act boldly against Zimbabwe’s sustained track record.
“There is widespread concurrence that it is in the best interest of the SADC to act boldly in finding a lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis which continues to have ramifications across the region.
“A 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,” said CiZC in a statement.
The coalition of CSOs said following Zimbabwe’s disputed 2023 elections, SADC has a critical role to hold the government of Zimbabwe and its institutions to account based on the report from the SADC Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM).
They warned that failure to act will set a bad precedence within the region.
“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. Regional solidarity remains key in unlocking the Zimbabwean crisis which has been perpetuated by the widely discredited 2023 polls,” said CiZC.
The Coalition said at the local level, there is need for engagement with key stakeholders to set the tone for dialogue and transitional justice.
“There is a need to mobilize citizens to unite beyond partisan lines and push for the collective good. There is an imperative need for comprehensive strategies to promote women participation as voters and candidates in elections,” added CiZC.