We, The Botswana Civil Society Solidarity Coalition for Zimbabwe (BOCISCOZ), acknowledge the signing of the agreement between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations on 15 September 2008. We recognise that the political parties continue to seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Zimbabwe. We also note that both regional civil society and SADC member states have often strongly encouraged Zimbabweans to find a peaceful and sustainable solution to the crisis.
We acknowledge the publicly stated commitments made by all the parties to work together. They have given priority to the restoration of economic stability; the creation of a people-centered Constitution; the enabling of unhindered political activity; the implementation of national healing; respect for the rule of law, human rights and the rights to assembly, association and of expression; the non-partisan distribution of humanitarian assistance and protection of the security of persons. We further note that the political parties have committed themselves to putting the people of Zimbabwe at the centre of these plans.
However, the mere expression of intent does not ensure economic recovery and the restoration of stability to Zimbabwe. These commitments need to be translated into meaningful change in the daily lives of the citizens of Zimbabwe.
In spite of the commitments made by the political parties, we are deeply concerned by the precedent which this agreement sets in our SADC region. When democratic electoral processes are tested, is a truly sustainable solution to be found in the compromise of the fundamental principles of accountability to the electorate and apparent impunity for those responsible for gross human rights violations?
Much rests on the true realisation of the expressed commitments, which we hope will lead to the restoration of stability in Zimbabwe and in the SADC region. Zimbabweans who have been forced to migrate into the region due to the socio-economic and political situation which has prevailed in Zimbabwe, through their return home, will provide a tangible indicator of the success of this agreement.
BOCISCOZ remains committed to continuing to work in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe to achieve their vision of a truly democratic, accountable and peaceful Zimbabwe.