Comment & analysis
Justice for Zimbabwe: A Message of Solidarity
2008-04-17, Issue 363
On March 29 the people of Zimbabwe cast their votes for President, Parliament, and local representatives. To date, the results of the Presidential election have not been announced, leading to widespread accusations of vote manipulation. Charges of intimidation and the threat of violence grow daily, while the population suffers from spiraling inflation, commodity shortages, and joblessness. Ultimately, the people of Zimbabwe will determine their leaders, but as concerned citizens we can send a message to the Government of Zimbabwe, the African Union and to the nations of Southern Africa that we stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe and that we support their struggle for human rights and justice.
The following Message of Solidarity includes the points outlined in such popular documents as The Zimbabwe We Want, the People’s Convention (February 2008), as well as the platforms of human rights and justice groups in Zimbabwe. We invite you to add your name to the following message.
MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE FOR ZIMBABWE
The people of Zimbabwe have been betrayed, both by the government that represents them and by Western governments that claim to support their desires for economic development and democracy. Internally, corruption, government mis-management, military excesses, and poor economic decisions have deepened the country’s multiple social and economic crises. At the same time, the post-independence promises made by the international community were not kept and the imposition of World Bank/IMF economic structural adjustment policies further entrenched inequality and reversed the initial gains made by the country. We, the undersigned, support the people of Zimbabwe in their calls for a peaceful resolution to the current crisis. We urge the Government of Zimbabwe to work towards: 1. A new constitution, a people-driven document that ensures that any elected government runs the country to benefit its people, not the elite.
2. Economic justice, specifically:
- An audit of Zimbabwe’s 4.2 billion dollar debt - Repatriation of stolen assets, particularly funds diverted from public coffers to individual accounts in international banks. - National investments in social development, job creation, and regional economic integration efforts.
3. A national “Truth and Reconciliation” process to begin the healing process. We urge the international community to:
- End the “undeclared economic sanctions.”
- Cancel the colonial debt, including apartheid-related debt, along with debts related to failed structural adjustment policies, following an audit of the country’s national debt.
- Work with the Zimbabwean people to identify and repatriate public funds that have been diverted to private accounts in international banks.
To add your name to this Message of Solidarity, please send an email TransAfrica Forum at [email protected]
*Imani Countess serves as TransAfrica Forum’s Senior Director of Public Affairs. TransAfrica Forum is the leading advocacy organization for Africa and the African Diaspora in U.S. foreign policy. TransAfrica Forum helped lead the world protest against apartheid in South Africa and colonial rule in southern Africa. Today, the organization works for human and economic justice for African people on the continent of Africa, in Latin America and in the Caribbean.