In light of the resolutions made by the SADC Extraordinary Summit held on June 23, 2021 in Maputo, Mozambique, the SADC regional civil society coordinated by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition responds thus:
We bow our heads to the family of former Zambian President, Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda and share our celebration of his life and his role in the liberation of the SADC region as well as laying the foundations for the Organization of African Unity (OAU). We call upon present SADC and African Union leaders to return the continent to the people and stop their narrow, selfish and often corrupt partnerships with international capital to extract the continents’ resources at the expense of the locals.
Whilst civil society celebrates the deployment of the SADC Standby Force in Mozambique to combat acts of terrorism and violent extremism, emphasis of the deployment must be on humanitarian intervention, restoration of livelihoods as well as reintegration of societies affected by the insurgency in the Cabo Delgado province.
As noted on the Extraordinary SADC People’s Summit hosted by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and the Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network on April 8, 2021, the armed conflict in Mozambique has its roots in unfair distribution of natural resources. Therefore local communities must fully participate and enjoy the economic benefits of natural resource endowments in their environs.
We further appreciate the commitment by SADC towards the establishment of the SADC Humanitarian and Emergency Operations Centre in Nacala, Mozambique. However, we call on the SADC leadership to display more action on its resolutions as its sister regional communities ECOWAS and EAC do on matters of regional security, human movement and economic integration. The predictable disasters like Volcanoes in the DRC, irregular cyclones and droughts in Madagascar and the sub-region must never cause historic suffering as they have done before.
We celebrate Tanzania and the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, for facilitating a smooth transition after the untimely death of His Excellency President John Pombe Magufuli. The constitutional elevation of Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan is not just a victory for Tanzania or women but the whole region in general.
We call upon SADC to push leaders in Zambia and Zimbabwe to stop the tendency to change their national constitutions to block transitions and or tilt power towards the incumbents. The will of the citizens as protected by their national constitutions must be sovereign.
We celebrate with the people of Malawi and her political parties for facilitating a credible election and a peaceful transition.
SADC leadership must encourage Zambia, DRC and Zimbabwe’s political leadership to commit to the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections and reform their disputed electoral frameworks to facilitate for the sanctity of the vote.
SADC leadership must assist Zimbabwe and Lesotho, whose political orders are subjects of military coups, to return their countries to civilian rule. The ballot must be mightier than the bullet- and coups.
We celebrate the Summit’s call on cooperation and waive Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to allow for more access to Covid-19 vaccines.
We celebrate the Summit’s call for citizens to travel and not be discriminated against on the basis of origin and or type of vaccine used.
We celebrate and call for inclusive mechanisms to include all populations, especially women, ethnic minorities, perceived political opponents, people living with disabilities and orphans in the social-protection and safety net programs.
We celebrate the call for agro-processing and domestication of the Regional Food and Nutrition Security Strategy into domestic policy frameworks. If trade barriers are removed, the region can adequately feed itself and limit the in-equality associated malnutrition levels in the region.
We call upon SADC to (as it unconditionally calls for the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe) ask the leadership of Zimbabwe to really address the historic injustices and insecurities faced by her people as well as free that country from militarism. The ongoing mutilation of the constitution to create an imperial president risks another coup- all which negate the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe which include a free, democratic, inclusive and prosperous nation where ethnicity, race, gender and politics are not used as determinants of public service.
We commit to continuously encourage the media, civil society movements and educational institutions to share the history of the region and maintain historical people to people solidarity in trade, culture, education and tourism.
Source: Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition