DA to present proposals on resolving Zim crisis

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will present a set of proposals to the Foreign Affairs Ministry on how the government can resolve Zimbabwe’s electoral crisis, the party said on Friday.

The proposals include the possible suspension of Zimbabwe from the African Union, arms embargoes and the severing of diplomatic ties. This comes as Zimbabweans wait for a recount of the March 29 elections, which will determine who their president is.

“The [DA], along with a range of other regional and international actors and organisations, is of the conviction that unless firm and decisive action is taken to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis, the situation will spiral out of control, with devastating consequences for the people of that country and for the Southern Africa region as a whole,” said the party’s Sandra Botha.

She disagreed with the government’s contention that only quiet diplomacy could work as a policy solution.

In a letter to be presented to the office of Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the party proposed:

  • That the presidential election results be immediately released;
  • That state-sponsored or -supported political violence come to an immediate end;
  • That the government accepts the deployment of a joint AU-United Nations mission to monitor the situation in Zimbabwe, and prevent the recurrence of violence there;
  • If all parties accept the released results, and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change candidate is declared the victor in the presidential election, that this result be fully accepted and complied with;
  • If it becomes necessary to contest a run-off election, and this is accepted by all parties, that it proceeds without further unnecessary delay;
  • That a run-off election be monitored by officials and observers from the Southern African Development Community, the AU and the UN;
  • And lastly, that local, regional and international media be allowed to operate in Zimbabwe throughout this period, free from any form of harassment or intimidation.
If these conditions were not met within five days, punitive measures should include public condemnation of President Robert Mugabe and the Zanu-PF party; referral of the matter to the UN Security Council; an immediate arms embargo followed by lobbying for an international arms embargo; targeted travel and financial sanctions on members of the Zanu-PF “elite”; and an extraordinary session of the AU Assembly to suspend Zimbabwe.

As a last resort, the South African government should refuse to recognise Mugabe’s government as the legitimate government of Zimbabwe, expel the Zimbabwean ambassador to South Africa and consider imposing economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

For sanctions, the support of Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana would also have to be secured.

“The sanctions would have to be imposed as an absolute last resort, with every effort made to avoid unnecessary suffering for ordinary Zimbabweans.”

Afterwards, the South African government should lobby the international community to help Zimbabwe with emergency aid and with an investment package that would help stabilise the economy.

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) on Friday also called for the AU to disqualify Mugabe and take heed of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s appeal for Southern African Development Community leaders to persuade him to step down.—Sapa


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