Zim CSOs demand suspension of Swaziland from the regional bloc

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZiC) has expressed ambivalence on the appointment of President Mugabe to chair the Southern Africa Development Committee bloc saying the region will likely suffer democratic deficiency under his leadership.

President Mugabe was recently appointed as the new SADC chair at the 34th summit, taking over from Malawian president Professor Peter Mutharika.

During a press briefing held in Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday under the topic: ‘Zimbabwe chairing SADC what does it likely to mean for the country and region, CZiC said SADC had an important role to play in Zimbabwe, especially in demanding urgent democratic reforms.

“We demand guaranty of orderly and constitutional succession in Zimbabwe and decisive action on the land question especially regarding factionalism and instability within the ruling Zanu-PF party which might threaten national security,” read their statement.

CZiC spokesperson Mfundo Mlilo said they were not impressed by president Mugabe’s recent begging trip to China, where ‘mega deals’ aimed at reviving the economy, were ‘sealed’.

“We clearly condemn that trip to china, in our view, the current state of the economy demands immediate remedial action and not acts of mortgaging the country to the Chinese,” said Mlilo.

CZiC also urged SADC leaders to demonstrate commitment to the rule of law and respect for human rights by immediately resuscitating the SADC Tribunal.

“We call upon SADC leaders to press for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Swaziland human rights defenders.

“In addition, let Swaziland be suspended – with immediate effect – from the SADC bloc until there is restoration of democracy and respect for the rule of law,” said CZiC.

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