via Open letter to European Union – Information & Publicity – ZUNDE January 13, 2014
Dear European Union Leaders & members of the Diplomatic Corp,
Ref: Zimbabwe’s re-engagement delegation to EU – ZUNDE’s position
Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE), a global movement that emerged after the ominous July 31st elections in Zimbabwe, learnt with sadness and disdain that a delegation of so-called captains of industry will be visiting the EU towards the end of this month, January 2014 for re-engagement purposes.
Our considered view is that the delegation was handpicked by ZANU PF therefore they represent not the generality of Zimbabweans but ZANU PF. It might be useful to revisit what caused disengagement in the first place; primarily, it was the question of illegitimacy as a result of stolen and violent elections. At ZUNDE we ask “what has changed?”
That fewer Zimbabweans were subjected to violence than in 2008 does not make an election credible. That not as many were killed doesn’t mean things have changed for the better. Where on earth does a nation have credible elections when the voters’ roll, nearly six months after the elections, is still in the printing press?
How does an election become credible when nearly a million citizens are turned away from polling for reasons known only to polling officers? How do you have a credible election when the media covers only one political party and the police act as an extension of ZANU PF? With systematic disenfranchisement of more than a quarter of the population forced into the Diaspora, how can anybody say the election was credible? More than 8 million ballots were printed against less than 6 million voters, what sense does this make and what happened to the extra ballots?
Unless and until the basic fundamentals of freedom, human rights and rule of law are observed and executed to the letter, we urge the European Union not to waste its precious time with ZANU PF surrogates, zealots and activists masquerading as captains of industry. What industry are they talking about when the economy has become largely informal with the blessings of the government in general and in particular, the minister of Finance as encapsulated in his recent national budget?
Yes, Zimbabwe needs to re-engage with the international community but only at the right time and for the right cause. The Zimbabwe government must first respect the people’s will to choose a government of their choice before it can ask for the international community to bless it. Our considered view is that the European Union will be complicit in exacerbating the suffering of Zimbabweans under a repressive regime if it pays positive attention to this delegation of corrupt and compromised people. Let them go home empty handed and sort out the mess that their masters created before any re-engagement can be considered.
Information & Publicity – ZUNDE, www.zunde.org, firstname.lastname@example.org