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Civic Society Organizations Advocate for SADC-Facilitated Dialogue

Local civic society organizations (CSOs) under the banner of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), have called upon the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to play a pivotal role in addressing Zimbabwe’s ongoing post-election legitimacy crisis.

In an online discussion recently, the organizations underscored the urgent need for a transparent and inclusive dialogue process involving all stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the crisis.

Titled “Zimbabwe’s Post-Election Legitimacy Crisis: What’s Next?” the discussion saw a consensus among participants that the region’s stability relies on swift and assertive action.

“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 the CSOs

The coalition urged SADC to hold the Zimbabwean government accountable based on the findings of the SADC Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM).

“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). 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. 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,” the coalition said

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According to the coalition Zimbabwe has a history of disputed elections and the 2023 elections fell far short of local, regional and international guidelines on free, fair and credible polls and this has worsened the country’s socio-economic and political crises.

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