December 17, 2021
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition would like to congratulate its membership for the successful hosting of its 13thAnnual General Meeting in Bulawayo. In compliance with its constitution, 75 member organizations convened for the AGM on December 15 to elect new leadership as well as deliberate on key national issues, notably, deepening poverty, grand corruption and the state-led onslaught on citizens.
The following emerged as key resolutions from the 2021 AGM:
· The Coalition approved the process to devolve and decentralize the institution as a way of enhancing its capacity to identify and respond to issues affecting members and citizens in their localities. This is also in line with the national call for devolution.
· The Coalition approved the realignment of the structure and scope of its Thematic Committees to suit the contemporary operational environment and the devolution agenda.
· The Coalition resolved to carry out a needs assessment and capacity development initiative for its membership.
· The Coalition resolved to vigorously push for equal gender representation in all its structures and processes
· The Coalition affirmed a broad based national programme in line with the 2021 Strategic Planning process to respond to the current national question, epitomized in the increasing authoritarian consolidation of the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
· In light of the continued shrinking of the democratic space in Zimbabwe, the Coalition resolved to mobilize at a grassroots level as well as to enhance African regional engagements as part of efforts to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis
· The Coalition noted with concern the amputation of the constitution before its full implementation and resolved to mobilize the generality of Zimbabweans in defence of constitutionalism
· The Coalition resolved to continue putting ordinary people’s interests at the center of its policy advocacy.
An unrelenting government
The AGM generated a lot of interest from the Government.
Around 11am, Zimbabwe Republic Police details from the Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI) and the Law and Order Section visited the venue.
The police officers wanted to stop the meeting on the grounds that they had not been notified of the event. They were told that this was a private and not a public meeting. The officers only left after requesting to meet the meeting convener and they also demanded the AGM programme and list of attendees.
Around 3:30 pm, an unruly mob of about 25 young men and 10 women, all visibly drunk, arrived at the AGM venue (a local hotel in the Bulawayo central business district). They were traveling in a fleet of about 11 double cab vehicles with no number-plates. Some of the cars had Zanu PF stickers on their wind-screens.
After a brief stand-off with hotel security, the mob eventually powered its way into the AGM venue, over-turning tables and throwing chairs at fleeing delegates. In the melee, two persons were injured and needed medical attention.
Police reports have since been made at Bulawayo Central police station.
A formal request was submitted to the hotel for a copy of their closed circuit TV footage. The Hotel promised to only share it with the police working on the case.
It is saddening that the action by the police and the unruly mob are coming on the backdrop of repeated threats against civil society and private voluntary actors by the government.
The recent gazetting of the PVO Amendment Bill is clear testimony that the government wants to shrink civil space under the guise of fighting money laundering and terrorism.
1. In order to safeguard membership and the integrity of our processes, the last AGM agenda item of the election and confirmation of a new leadership which could not be concluded after the disruption, will be finalized at a date to be confirmed in due course.
2. The Government of Zimbabwe has to display that it is indeed a 2nd Republic by adopting a pro-people and democratic manifesto, and free the people from tyranny.
3. The Coalition will keep on engaging the Government of Zimbabwe, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) to promote and protect constitutionalism in Zimbabwe.