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Crisis Coalition Statement on International Day of Democracy

For Immediate Release September 15, 2021 On International Day of Democracy, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition implores the government of Zimbabwe to uphold tenets of democracy and desist from further shrinking the democratic space. We note with great concern that despite assurances of a new dispensation, the government continues to thwart citizens' fundamental rights. The push to introduce draconian legislation such as the Patriotic Bill to crush dissenting voices is unfortunate. We are greatly disturbed over attempts to muzzle the operations of civil society organisations through amendments to the Private Voluntary Organisations Act.

Criminalisation of civil society work and weaponization of the law to clampdown on pro democracy forces points to entrenchment of authoritarian rule. In addition to that, it has been exceedingly difficult for human rights defenders to get breakthroughs from the courts of law due to the capture of judicial institutions. Zimbabwe's constitutional crisis, coupled with militarisation of key state institutions has led to the shrinking of the democratic space with the ruling party, Zanu PF abusing its parliamentary majority to amend the constitution and introduce draconian legislation.

The state has also weaponised the Covid19 pandemic to disrupt representative democracy. As the world commemorates International Day of Democracy, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition reiterates the need for a genuine all stakeholders dialogue as a way of unlocking the multi faceted crisis in Zimbabwe. We also implore government to put in place electoral reforms ahead of the harmonised elections to ensure a free and fair election We also reiterate the need for SADC to intervene and facilitate the dialogue process in Zimbabwe.

Marvellous Kumalo Spokesperson Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition 51 Longden Avenue, Belvedere, Harare Tel: (263)864 411 9477 Twitter: @crisiscoalition Facebook: Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Youtube: CrisisCoalitionZim

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