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  • ACTSA calls for an end to violence in Zimbabwe on third anniversary of Presidential run-off

    By Campaigns | June 30, 2011

    ACTSA Press Release

    On 27 June Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) marked the third anniversary of Zimbabwe’s fateful 2008 presidential ‘run-off’ election with a vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The vigil was attended by ACTSA supporters, members of the Zimbabwean diaspora and representatives of many of Britain’s main trade unions.

    ACTSA presented the Embassy with over 1300 cards calling for an end to violence and for free elections. The Embassy refused to take the cards from ACTSA, saying they could only accept them by post. The cards were attached to bunches of red roses: often used by women’s groups in Zimbabwe as a symbol of peaceful protest.

    Violence has surged throughout the country with speculation there may be an election in the coming months. Civil society groups are finding themselves increasingly under threat and MDC activists have been beaten and harassed. ACTSA fears free and  fair elections will not be possible in the context of violence and intimidation and supports the call of the Zimbabwean people and the Southern African Development Community that the Global Political Agreement on which the inclusive government is based be properly implemented ACTSA calls for an end to the violence being used against civil society groups and members. An orchestrated and brutal campaign of murder, rape and torture emerged in 2008 in a bid by supporters of Zanu PF to hold on to power; this cannot be allowed to happen again.

    Tony Dykes, Director of ACTSA said:

    “ACTSA is extremely concerned about the increasing violence in Zimbabwe and join the country’s people in calling for an end to the harassment and intimidation of those seen as not supporting Zanu PF. We are disappointed that the Embassy declined to receive the 1,300 cards we collected calling for an end to violence and intimidation within the country.  I have written to the Ambassador requesting he receive them.

    ACTSA’s calls are simple and echo what the people of Zimbabwe are saying; end the violence and when conditions are conducive, hold free and fair elections in line with SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections. This call is supported by many ordinary people across Britain who support democracy and development in Zimbabwe. We very much hope that in the interests of the Zimbabwean people these straightforward, non-partisan demands are heard and acted on.”

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