Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an umbrella body of civic society organisations operating in Zimbabwe, joins the African continent in celebrating Africa Day (2021).
This year’s Africa Day celebrations are being held under the theme, “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”.
As a pro-democracy group, we reiterate that peace; unity, development and respect for human rights should form the core values of the African continent.
We are however concerned that peace and development in Africa continues to be under threat due to insurgents, authoritarianism as well as corruption and plunder of national resources by political leaders.
We reiterate that the crisis in Mozambique calls for urgent humanitarian intervention given that more than 700 000 people have been displaced as a result of the insurgency in the Cabo Delgado region while around 1.3 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
More than 3 000 lives have been lost since the insurgency started in 2017. We call upon Southern Africa leaders to treat the Mozambican crisis with the urgency it deserves.
Solidarity at a regional level remains key in ensuring peace and stability.
Africa Day serves to reflect on the challenges the African continent faces in a global environment and we note with concern, the continued closure of the democratic space on the continent as despotic leaders seek to consolidate political power.
The pre-occupation with power consolidation has often resulted in disputed election outcomes (as was the case with the undemocratic elections in Uganda), disregard of constitutions, and clampdown on opposition political parties as well as civic society activists.
This has often resulted in instability in countries such as Uganda, Gabon, Cameron, Kenya, Mali and Zimbabwe among others.
We call upon African leaders to uphold tenets of democracy and respect the people’s will especially during elections. More importantly, there is need for genuine dialogue on troubled hotspot areas within the continent.
We condemn in the strongest of terms, the military disturbances in Mali and we call upon the Economic Community for West African States and the African Union to urgently intervene and save the situation in Mali.
The abrogation of constitutions to consolidate power, as is the case with Zimbabwe, is becoming a common trend in Africa and this is regrettable.
Rule of law and majority rule should always inform government policies within the African continent.
We also note the impending elections in Somalia and urge the African Union, other observer missions and the Somali Election Management Body (EMB) to ensure a peaceful , free, fair and credible election.
In light of the Covid 19 pandemic, we urge African countries to continue to embrace vaccination. We further urge governments to be transparent and accountable in the procurement of the Covid 19 vaccines.