The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) joined forces with other organizations to rally at the extraordinary SADC summit in South Africa Sunday, 11 June. A total of over 1000 people gathered to demand for SADC to put an end to political violence and support the creation of a conducive environment for the holding of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
“Through our Act Now against political Violence, Rape and Torture campaign we are calling on SADC to impress it upon Mugabe and ZANU-PF that violence does not pay” NCA National Spokesperson, Madock Chivasa stressed at the sunday rally. Chivasa emphasized the need for SADC to protect especially women from the brutality of ZANU-PF, in particular as the country approaches yet another election.
The summit was a direct follow-up to the SADC Troika on politics, defence and security cooperation meeting held in Livingstone Zambia on the 31st of March 2011. Here the clearly dissatisfied Troika called for an immediate end to political violence, while reminding the leadership of Zimbabwe of its obligations according to the Global Political Agreement to create “a conducive environment for peace, security, and free political activity”.
Chivasa reiterated the NCA call for monitoring from SADC as a matter of urgency: “It will be impossible to have a credible election in an environment of fear and intimidation as we have today” he argued, emphazing the need for political parties to respect women and their right to participate on political issues and the need for Zimbabweans to stand up and speak out against violence.
According to Munjodzi Mutandiri of the NCA regional office, the NCA campaign against political violence targeting women has gathered momentum, but also emphasized that civics must intensify their efforts to mobilise and organise masses to put pressure on the dictatorship in Zimbabwe to stop political violence.