Zimbabwe CSOs send SOS to Malawi counterparts

Civil rights campaigners in Zimbabwe are making a strong appeal to their Malawi counterparts to assist them address civil rights abuses they are facing in Zimbabwe.

Representatives of Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) made the appeal in Malawi’s Capital Lilongwe during the meeting with Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN).

Research and Advocacy Programme Manager for ZESN Runyararo Munetsi said  the current political situation in Zimbabwe is not conducive for holding free and fair elections in that country.

Zimbabwe is expected to go to the polls next year on the day yet to be announced.

Duwa: Request has come to late

“We therefore seek solidarity from the people of Malawi on whatever issues might be affecting Zimbabweans.  In that regards we want people of Malawi to amplify the voice of the Zimbabweans mainly on political environment,” she said.

Munetsi also said ZESN wanted to establish a platform to interact with various civil society organizations in Malawi to share experiences with them and also to create platforms for future collaboration on activities and various initiatives.

MESN Publicity Secretary Steve Duwa said they have taken heed of the call and assured their Zimbabwe counter parts that they will work in solidarity to improve the political situation in Zimbabwe “taking in consideration the fact that the crisis has taken too long to be addressed”.

“Zimbabwe problems have been there for too long and it seems nobody cares for that and it seems there is a lot of hypocrisy from the people who have been involved like the SADC leaders,” said Duwa.

Duwa welcomed ZESN’s appeal though he said it has come late.

“If civil society started working on these long time ago may be these political leaders would not taken them for a ride because if you talk about elections civil society role can be ignored I think this need to be underscored. Political leaders would wish to do away with civil society organizations and faith based institutions but we are very critical in electoral process,” he said.

He however said MESN would not fully commit itself to assisting their Zimbabwe counterparts this time around because they too are preparing for 2014 elections.

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