Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition joins the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of Peace. Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September to strengthen the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The Coalition also takes the opportunity to dedicate this day to those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace in the world.
The International day of Peace was established in 1981 by a United Nations resolution to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982.In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace. By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in cooperation for this goal.
This year the International Day of Peace also known as World Peace Day commemorated under the theme "Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future" comes at a time when cases of violence are escalating in Zimbabwe due to the hitches in the Constitution-making exercise. Since the beginning of the year 2012, the country has had an increase in cases of political violence. It is worrying to note that the trends and patterns of this violence have remained predominantly the same. These includes the resurfacing of political bases, which were used as torture centres by Zanu (PF) supporters in the 2008 elections in some constituencies of the country, raising fears of a recurrence of the violence that characterized the last plebiscite. Barely two weeks ago, suspected members of the infamous Mbare-based Chipangano group, took up their violent culture, causing mayhem at commuter bus terminuses as they assaulted commuter omnibus operators in the city centre. Earlier in August the national census program was turned into a debacle as soldiers and other members of state security agencies invaded the enumerator training centres across the country seeking to impose themselves on the program and displace teachers who they alleged were aligned to the two MDC formations and had helped them win the 2008 elections.
In keeping with commemorating the International day of Peace, The Coalition calls upon the parties to the GPA to take positive measures to ensure compliance with provisions of the Agreement, particularly Article 18 which among other things, commits the political parties to ensure security of persons and prevention of violence. The Coalition welcomes this development and urges the Inclusive Government to put mechanisms in place that will ensure lasting peace in Zimbabwe.
The International Day of Peace this year offers people globally a shared date to think about how, individually, they can contribute to ensuring that natural resources are managed in a sustainable manner, thus reducing potential for disputes, and paving the road to a sustainable future. Sustainable development has been defined as a pattern of economic growth in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come. It is a deliberate attempt at meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition contends that the root causes of many political conflicts are directly related to or fuelled by valuable natural resources. Given this we believe that addressing issues of ownership, control and management of natural resources is crucial to maintaining security and restoring the economy in Zimbabwe. Minerals are being mined and very little is left for the mining communities or the country where the mineral is produced. In Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole, mining communities are experiencing the negative effects: few schools and roads, health problems associated with poisonous chemicals and unsafe drinking water, forced relocation and the disruption of livelihoods. It is The Coalition's contention that lasting peace is not just the absence of overt violence, but also the 'presence of justice through equal opportunity, a fair distribution of power and resources, equal protection and impartial enforcement of law. Mineral-rich nations, like Zimbabwe must make strategic policy decisions to maximise mining's contribution to development and ensure that mining proceeds benefit of society and not to finance violence and further militarisation of the state and as a whole contribute largely to the national fiscus.
On this day, the 21st of September, mankind is reminded of the need for peaceful coexistence for a sustainable future. Differences of tribe, language, colour, religion, ideology or even political affiliations should all melt-down whenever we commemorate World Peace Day. The Coalition has been advocating for political tolerance and co-existence between political parties and with elections being anticipated in the coming year, and every Zimbabwean needs to reflect on the dangers violence portends to the future of the country.
Issued by: Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition