MDC Youth Assembly Statement on the SADC Summit

The MDC Youth Assembly appreciates and commends SADC and its Facilitator H.E. President Jacob Zuma for the work they have been doing in Zimbabwe on behalf of SADC.

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In particular, the MDC Youth Assembly welcomes the firm resolutions taken by SADC at the previous Organ Troika Summit on the 31th of March 2011 in Livingstone, Zambia.  Specifically, their concern with the insufficient progress regarding the implementation of the GPA which is fundamental to the resolution of the Zimbabwe`s political impasse and the holding of free and fair, democratic, credible and legitimate elections.  The Livingstone Summit also expressed worry over the polarized political situation characterized by state-sponsored violence and torture, unlawful arrests and intimidation.

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Despite SADC`s insistence that there must be an end to violence, intimidation, hate speech, harassment etc, the MDC Youth Assembly notes with regret that these have been on the increase, at the perpetration of ZANU PF relying on the organs of the state such as the state media, beaurucracy, but more critically the coercive organs like the army, police and state intelligence. As we speak, dozens of MDC and other democracy activists are detained in various police stations in Zimbabwe on flimsy and vexatious charges. The negative role of the youth through the youth militia and other platforms is of particular concern to the MDC youth assembly.

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In light of this particular Summit, the MDC Youth Assembly upholds and wishes to remind the SADC troika of the important words of President Rupiah Banda of Zambia who is also the chairman of the SADC Troika organ at the Livingstone Summit in which he said:

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“If there is anything that we must learn from the upheavals going on in the northern part of our continent, it is that the legitimate expectations of the citizens of our countries cannot be taken for granted. We must therefore continue at the SADC level to consolidate democracy through the establishment of institutions that uphold the tenets of good governance, respect for human rights and the rural of law”

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The MDC Youth Assembly notes and reminds SADC of article 2 of the SADC Protocol on politics, defense and Security which specifically mandates SADC to protect the people against the state and thus calls on the troika to endorse the resolutions of the Livingstone Summit and to intensify its quest for the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis by insisting on:

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i.                    The urgent cessation of intimidation, hate speech, harassment, arrests and all forms of violence

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ii.                  Speedy and unconditional implementation of the GPA and creating the conducive environment for peace, stability and all basic freedoms

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iii.                A time-bound free and fair, democratic , credible and legitimate election underwritten by SADC and its guidelines and principles governing democratic elections, including the timely invitation of regional and international observers. The Youth Assembly implores SADC to establish a mechanism to facilitate the transfer of power to the winning candidate to avoid what transpired in Ivory Coast.

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iv.                Ensure the functionality of the team of SADC officials that were appointed to complement the work of Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) to ensure effective monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the GPA.  

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v.                  Urgent and deliberate effort to institute security sector reforms and military re-alignment in line with the professional conduct of the military in a democracy

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The Youth Assembly values the support and solidarity which the SADC countries continue to offer to Zimbabwe during its tumultuous time of challenges.  Specifically, the issue of millions of our people, particularly the youth who have had to skip the border in search of socio-economic and political sanctuary. South Africa, Botswana as well as other countries in the region bear the brunt and can witness to this. This highlights the political ramifications of the Zimbabwe predicament, if not resolved effectively on time.  The prospect of civil unrest in Zimbabwe and its possible spill-over effects into the region are too ghastly to contemplate.

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On a different note, the MDC Youth Assembly wishes the ANC Youth League a very successful congress which is earmarked for the 16th of June 2011. A day that is significant for the hard won independence and freedoms of the peoples of Africa.  It also highlights the historic role that the youth played and continue to play in the fight for human dignity, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. The MDC Youth Assembly has no doubt that the ANC Youth League will conduct its congress in a democratic and transparent manner-the very values and principles that the victims of the Soweto uprising, Sharpeville massacres and others paid the ultimate price for. The ANC and the ANC Youth league itself and the people of South Africa have been and continue to be at the forefront of the fight to achieve these fundamental values.

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Last but not least, the MDC Youth Assembly wishes to thank President Jacob Zuma, the government and the people of South Africa for their warm hospitality, and the unrelenting leadership, support and solidarity  which the Republic of South Africa continues to provide in the region, in the continent as well as internationally. We say viva South Africa viva!!!

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