South Africa and the international community need to acknowledge the power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe has failed to resolve the country’s leadership crisis, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.
“We have had no acknowledgement from South Africa, or any country, that the Global Political Agreement (GPA) probably did not resolve the crisis,” organisation spokesperson Tiseke Kasambala told reporters in Johannesburg.
“There have been no acknowledgements of the dangers being faced here … that this is a repeat cycle … of lack of accountability and justice.”
There had been increasing political violence and human rights abuses in the wake of calls by Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party to hold elections and bring an end to the coalition government.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission however had been silent on the matter.
A Human Rights Watch report on the country stated the South African government and Southern African Development Community countries had done very little to intervene in the country’s crisis.
‘No longer a truce’
Instead, President Jacob Zuma and other leaders called for the lifting of targeted sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union on Mugabe and his inner circle, arguing they were an obstacle to the progress of the power-sharing government.
“There is no longer a truce [in the government], but open violence,” Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson Dewa Mavhinga said.
“Should the elections be rigged, which they will, Morgan Tsvangirai has called for a clean divorce from Zanu-PF.”
He called for intervention in the election process by South Africa, the Southern African Development Community, the African Union and United Nations.
“We need them to monitor the situation on the ground and make sure elections are free, fair and peaceful,” he said.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe coalition is a group of more than 350 civil society organisations, formed in August 2001 in response to the human rights and leadership crisis facing the nation. — Sapa