Monday, 25 February 2008


The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum salutes the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum on the 10th anniversary of your founding. We salute also the statements released by your forum and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on the 20th and 21st of February condemning the brutal attack on the Progressive Teachers Union.
The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum is a network movement of progressive South African civil society organisations, including youth, women, labour, faith-based, human rights and student formations that are engaged in the promotion of solidarity for sustainable peace, democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe.
These actions by the increasingly desperate Zimbabwe regime are a slap in the face to those who claim that the SADC mediation process has brought changes to the conditions for a free and fair election in Zimbabwe . While legitimate protest continues to be met with repression nobody can claim that Zimbabwe is free to run an election that will express the will of the majority.
The harsh economic conditions that are the direct result of ZANU-PF policies and the social marginalisation and exclusion of anybody who does not support the profiteering of Mugabe’s hand picked elite, demand a response. Where this space to respond is absent, the progressive forces in Zimbabwe and its allies within the ZSF and civil society across the region have a responsibility to organise vociferously and create spaces that express its concerns.
Even in South Africa there are challenges that seem particularly harsh for Zimbabweans. The issue of rising Xenophobia was noted with concern in a ZSF planning meeting recently. Participants discussed the brutal raid on the Central Methodist Church and ongoing reports of police harassment, Home Affairs indifference and an overwhelmingly corrupt and extortionate relationship between officials and the Zimbabwean diaspora. Those present in the meeting felt as though Zimbabweans in particular were being targeted, and that this was linked to confusing messages from government about the nature and extent of the crisis in Zimbabwe .
References made in local tabloid papers like The Sun, that characterise Zimbabweans in particular, and foreign nationals in general, as criminals, thugs and aliens, is perceived as contributing to the alarming rise of xenophobic sentiment and violence carried out against marginalised and struggling refugees and asylum seekers.
People that have fled the harsh repression of autocratic regimes and the ravages of poverty and economic exclusion deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. The Human and Peoples Rights protected by South Africa ’s constitution and the African Union are the bedrock of a democracy project that must span the entire continent. Africa will never be free until Africans embrace their diversity and see that peace in one part of the continent alone is not peace at all.
The courageous statements from your structures, including those of ZINASU, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and ACTSA, and the valuable information that is being shared strengthen our movement.
South Africa owes its freedom to the many sacrifices of Africa ’s people, and of people everywhere, – it is this central belief that drives our own commitment to a revolutionary solidarity with progressive forces struggling against oppression everywhere.
ZSF is accessible also on
Under the banner of “Building Momentum for Freedom and Democracy in Zimbabwe ” the ZSF will be hosting a seminar at the Devonshire Hotel on the 28th of February. This will serve as an analysis and discussion forum that will also feed into our mobiulisation strategy for the International Solidarity march on the 7th of March.
The South African International Solidarity Forum, led by COSATU, and supported by the ZSF, will march for Democracy in Kenya , Swaziland and Zimbabwe on the 7th of March from the Union Buildings in Pretoria . We will be mobilising all progressive people in solidarity with struggles like your own, for a Zimbabwe free of organised violence and torture.
The election triggered violence of Kenya is fresh in our memories. The roots of the Kenyan conflict lie in the deep cracks in the parasitic political, economic and land systems it inherited from colonialism and hardened through one party rule. These cracks run just as deep in Zimbabwe and in Swaziland . With elections imminent in both these countries it is critical that we build unity around a momentum for collective action, in defense of the right of the will of the majority to be heard and acted on.
The ZSF will be focused on acting in solidarity to prevent all forms of violence and build a free and democratic future for all.
Richard Smith & Lucian Segami
On behalf of the ZSF secretariat

1 comment:

Filho filo said...

Manoel gostei do seu blog....dah uma passada no meu...