- SADC and the African Union
The Zimbabwean Harmonised Elections has been speckled with many events which damage the credibility and the integrity of these very important elections in our history. These events, some of which were stated by one of the SADC mission to Zimbabwe members himself, are the presence of villager intimidation, the lack of accountability of the Zimbabwean Electoral Commitee (ZEC), the voters roll's late introduction, ZEC's bias towards one of the political parties, the forcing of school children and teachers to political rallies and the many more events which occurred in the build-up to the harmonized elections. These problems make the elections not credible to all especially with the jaded history of election rigging in the country and the intervention of SADC or the AU or another international body with the authority to do so would be able to allow for the voice of the Zimbabwean people to be heard without contestation. This would pave the way to a freer, fairer and more credible elections and a more peaceful Zimbabwe.
I would like to request for Zimbabwean citizens to sign this petition and all those who are not Zimbabwean citizens to share this and spread awareness of the existence of this petition.
We the undersigned, call on the African Union along with the Southern African Development Community to intervene in the Zimbabwean elections through organizing and conducting a new election along with deploying peace-keeping forces so that the voice of the people could be heard without fear and in a freer, less constrained manner.
The 2018 Zimbabwean harmonised elections have been marred with events such as occasions of villager intimidation, the biased conduct of the Zimbabwean Electoral Committee (ZEC), the late exposition of the voter's roll along with claims of individuals, especially teachers and schoolchildren being forced to political rallies by the ruling party. These events have greatly damaged the credibility and the integrity of these elections, which as the world has rightly noted hold a historic significance to the landlocked country of Zimbabwe as it is seen as the chance for more civil liberties and a more prosperous Zimbabwe. With this being said, the Zimbabwean Electoral Committee has lost quite a lot of the faith of the Zimbabwean people and this being an election such as the historic 1980 election which offers a chance at regime change and the cordoning off of an old era, it is greatly imperative that an independent unbiased International body such as the AU or SADC conducts and organizes them. As shown by todays riots and protests and if these contested results be left as they are, there is high possibility of further bloodshed and instability. There are doubts that ZEC is capable of free and fair elections and this is greatly problematic as these perceptions challenge the very credibility, legitimacy and integrity of the very election results we are awaiting. Therefore, we ask that the elections be re-done under the authority of the African Union and SADC and a multi-party agreement be made in which all parties (including the government) promise to abstain from violence and voter intimidation.
To further secure peace in the country, it is our submission that the AU should deploy unbiased peace-keeping troops throughout the country who are aware that they are not to favour any political party over another. They should be deployed especially in rural areas to show the villagers that they are safe and secure and that regardless of whoever they vote for, they will not face any retribution or punishment. This will make them feel free to vote honestly according to their wishes. The deployment of peace-keeping forces is also essential to the stability of the country in this period as it will act as a great deterrence for anyone wishing to impose their own will on others. Political violence and voter intimidation would be reduced to a minimum if not to being non-existent by the presence of unbiased peace-keeping units. Along with this it will be imperative for traditional leaders to be instructed to not favour or push for any political party so as to totally deter political intimidation. These peace-keeping forces should be kept in the country from the time that the AU or SADC have stepped in to organize elections to the point at which the next president of Zimbabwe is ordained so as to leave absolutely no room for intimidation or violence in the process.
With this, our submission, we seek to envision the peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe that this election stands for to the world and to Zimbabwe so that the dreams of our nation may become a reality.
With this our submission, we give our contribution to making the peaceful and prosperous region or continent that both your esteemed institutions envision.
With this our submission, we envision our beloved nation of Zimbabwe unshackled and our governance, totally credible and legitimate.
The faster we are able to tackle this problem, the faster we will be able to secure peace and legitimacy in Zimbabwe.
The Free and Fair Zimbabwean Elections petition to SADC and the African Union was written by Pasipamuka Jengetanyika and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.