- Last Updated on 27 November 2012
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Mr Simao Tila, The Coordinator of JOINT, Mozambique's Appex organisation for NGO's has declared their solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe.
The JOINT Coordinator lamented how African Governments deal with Natural Resources, saying that in most places the challenge is that national resources are benefiting a few.
This was in response to presentations by a Zimbabwe Civil Society Delegation on Monday 26 November 2012 which is on a week-long mission to engage with the Mozambican state which is the SADC chair, Civil Society and the media on Zimbabwe's transition and readiness for elections in 2013.
On the issue of natural resources he added that:
"Zimbabwe is not yet like DR Congo, but can be if the situation that is prevailing on the mining of diamonds is not arrested. €
The DRC has been in an almost continuous state of conflict around their vast mineral and natural wealth including diamonds. The JOINT Coordinator's comments come at a very crucial time for Natural Resource Extraction, as a Kimberly Process Certification Scheme Plenary meeting takes place in Washington DC, USA, where Zimbabwe's Marange Diamonds are also expected to be discussed.
Mr Simao Tila, also stressed that part of regional solidarity with Zimbabwe should be centred on the regional Body's need for integration not just of economies but also of political values, stating that instability in Zimbabwe, stemming from an election that is not credible will hurt the region's pursuit of stability and economic integration and growth.
"The concept of Regional Integration that SADC is sponsoring, has to be one that we want, and has to be than just about economics and financial resources. States must grow at the same time economically, but also politically based on values. Based on this we are quite ready to stand with Zimbabwe, based on clear asks, and based on lessons from our past informed by our aspirations for the future. €
The JOINT Coordinator, committed to taking the issues presented by his Zimbabwean counterparts not just to other CSOs and government in Maputo, but also to the next planning meeting of Apex Organisations of NGOs in SADC, which is pencilled for February 2013 in Gaborone Botswana.
The delegation in Maputo, which comprises representatives from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), Women in Leadership and Development (WILD) and Christian Alliance will be meeting with other CSOs, media and government officials during the course of mission.
Mozambican civil society call for sustained people to people solidarity
The Executive Director for the Centre for Mozambican and International Studies (CEMO), Mr Henrique's Viola said that they are "fully in support of the people of Zimbabwe's quest for Democracy € as highlighted by the march they organised with the Human Rights League at the occasion of the signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and regular public discussions with relevant stakeholders on Zimbabwe. He said these efforts were targeted at the Mozambican government to make strategic decisions on Zimbabwe.
In a meeting with the Zimbabwe civil society delegation Mr Viola pointed out that the Zimbabwe question is a big political issue in the region and hence the need to collectively find a lasting solution to the perpetual crisis of disputable and inconclusive election.
"Zimbabwe should hold free and fair elections so that a government is elected by the people of Zimbabwe with clear transfer of power mechanism that allows the winner to be in charge without any resistance from any quarter such as the Security agents €.
Mr Viola said that they are concerned about the role of the military in civil matters highlighting the need for the region to encourage the military in Zimbabwe to respect democratic norms by staying out of politics and to exhibit high levels of professionalism. He said the issue of security governance is the central problem in Zimbabwe and any attempt to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe should be driven by a clear and apt agenda that recognises the need for security sector alignment before the next election.
Mr Viola said of major concern to CEMO is the implementation of the GPA which they consider to be very weak and highlights;
"SADC's incapacity to reign in on member states when they are in contravention of the regional body's dictates €.
On elections Mr Viola said that a national independent commission that is non-partisan must be put in place before the next election, if the election is to produce an uncontested outcome. He further highlighted that they had written to SADC Diplomatic missions in Mozambique encouraging them to put pressure on Zimbabwe to hold elections according to the SADC Principles and Guidelines governing free and fair elections so that regional civil society organisations are able to monitor and report on the Zimbabwe elections. The Centre for Mozambican and International studies has already put in place a program that will allow Mozambican civil society and the media to observe and monitor Zimbabwe's next election.
CEMO in its last publication highlighted that the constitution making process outcome will be a corner stone for the next election in Zimbabwe. They reiterated that the constitution making process must be brought to its logical conclusion so that Zimbabweans can decide their destiny by participating in a referendum.
Mr Viola said they remain concerned about the distribution of resources in Zimbabwe especially proceeds from diamonds. He said Mozambique has its own challenges with regards to resources especially land and minerals. The Zimbabwean delegation extended the solidarity message and call for peace and stability in Mozambique in light of the civil war threat by armed RENAMO rebels.
"Despite having been the most peaceful country in the region since 1992, there are real threats that the country may slide back into civil war if dialogue fails to resolve an impasse between Renamo and Frelimo in a conflict which is intricately linked to the exploration and use of natural resources €, said Mr Viola
CEMO will be hosting a public discussion between representatives of Renamo and Frelimo in two weeks to help the two political parties to find each other and ensure that the people of Mozambique are well informed of the reasons behind the conflict.
Mr McDonald Lewanika who was leading the delegation expressed his solidarity with the people of Mozambique and thanked the people of Mozambique for supporting Zimbabwe's liberation struggle and hosting the freedom fighters during a critical moment in the history of Zimbabwe. He encouraged the civil society in Mozambique to ensure that the region if fully appraised on political developments in Mozambique to ensure that there is incremental pressure on Maputo to maintain peace and stability.