HEAL ZIMBABWE AFRICA DAY STATEMENT
|Heal Zimbabwe joins the rest of Africa in commemorating Africa Day. This day is the annual commemoration of the 1963 founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) which later became the African Union (AU).|
For Zimbabwe, Africa Day commemorations offer an opportunity to reflect if the vision of the founding fathers of the AU has been realized to date. One of the key things they envisaged was promotion of unity, solidarity among African states and promoting the upholding of fundamental human rights and freedoms that are enshrined in international instruments such as Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948.
The commemorations for this year are taking place in an environment where the state has intensified its clampdown on Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).A case in point is the recent arrest of four CSO leaders on 20 May 2019 at Robert Mugabe international for attending the so called “regime change” training workshop in Prague, Czech Republic. The four continue to languish in remand prison to this day. On the occasion of this year’s Africa Day commemorations, Heal Zimbabwe implores the government to respect human rights and remain guided by provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, a human rights instrument intended to promote and protect human rights and basic freedoms on the African continent.
In addition, one of the Aspirations of Agenda 2063, which is both a vision and an action Plan launched by the African Union in 2015, aims to achieve a peaceful and a secure Africa where mechanisms for peaceful prevention and resolution of conflicts will be functional at all levels. As a first step, genuine dialogue-centered conflict prevention and resolution must be prioritized in Zimbabwe.
In light of the above, Heal Zimbabwe maintains that a credible National Dialogue must prioritize the following;
1. Credible Facilitation. It is important to have facilitation by skilled facilitators that are acceptable to all parties to make the process comfortable and as even-handed as possible
2.Sufficient Political Commitment. Political commitment is key for the dialogue to reach inclusive agreements; and for effective implementation.
3. Collective Leadership Capability. The success of any dialogue is hinged on the capability of leaders to reach compromises and to form coalitions across political and social divides in order to implement decisions that have been made through the dialogue process.
4 . Adequate inclusion. The aspect of inclusion is of critical importance because exclusion has been often a major cause of conflict in Zimbabwe. Therefore, stakeholders to the dialogue must be inclusive enough to safeguard legitimacy of decisions. More importantly is the inclusion of women in the political dialogue process since they have suffered the brunt of violence during successive episodes of political conflict in the country. The inclusion of youth is also highly important given the demographic realities of our country.