As the Zimbabwe crisis reaches appalling levels, Civic society organisations have turned to lobby regional countries to mobilize solidarity in the quest to proffer political reform ahead of the 2018 elections.
Daniel Malokele Human rights lawyer based in Johannesburg, Global Zimbabwe Forum , a network of Zimbabwean Civil Society across the diaspora, said next year civic society organisations in Zimbabwe will be engaging with other regional organisation across Southern Africa so as to facilitate encompassing SADC political leadership in responding to the Zimbabwean crisis.
“We are looking forward towards 2017 especially in the context of the forthcoming elections in 2018 and also the deepening crisis from a social economic point of view , as you know 2016 has been a difficult year and 2017 is expected to be even worse,
“For us in South Africa and indeed in the diaspora we think that there is need for civil society in Zimbabwe to also take advantage of the fact that we have Zimbabweans in strategic countries especially in Southern Africa where regional solidarity is important,
“Zimbabwe is a member of SADC community and we do have access to civil society in countries like Botswana and South Africa and other countries , so next year we should strengthen our regional outlook ,first working with organisations within and outside so that they priorities the Zimbabwean Crisis through engaging with their own political leadership who will then engage at SADC level so that the country does not became one of those forgotten stories in the international community”, said Molekele.
Convening in Harare yesterday during the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) National Conference themed “Reimaging Politics, Social and Economic Justice in Zimbabwe”, leaders of various CSOs from the country’s 10 provinces emphasised the importance of regional engagement as of critical importance to finding solution to the country`s challenges.
Joy Mabenge, CiZC Regional Information and Advocacy Coordinator said a regional solidarity movement is of immense importance as it is the best way of harnessing collective energy towards bringing social, economic and political sanity.
“Civil Society organisations in Zimbabwe need to upscale activities on reclaiming citizen space, voice and social agency so as to lay a firm base upon which to gain regional solidarity,
Peoples struggles in Zimbabwe should reconnect in regional struggles in Southern Africa , at least as a way of building regional integration and a strong people’s solidarity movement in SADC”, said Mabenge.
The Zimbabwe economic and social meltdown largely blamed on Zanu PF political maladministration has led many Zimbabwean to flee the country to neighboring countries and overseas to look for greener pastures.