Friday, December 19, 2008
Petition to Pres Motlanthe on Zimbabwe
Have you seen the petition to Pres Kgalema Motlanthe? This is another effort to find a political solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's people are wracked by a spiralling cholera epidemic which has already killed over 1000 people according to the UN and is spreading into Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique(1), while Robert Mugabe's de facto regime clings to power, even denying there is a cholera crisis.(2)
Three months ago we looked on with hope as Robert Mugabe and the MDC signed a deal to solve the country's political crisis. Now the negotiations are all but broken and Zimbabweans are left with fear, disease and growing insecurity. Because of its influence and position, there is one government that could stop Zimbabwe's meltdown - South Africa. President Motlanthe has the power to secure a political solution, based on the will of the Zimbabwean people, behind which Africa could unite.
So we're launching an emergency campaign across Africa to urge President Motlanthe to step up and take immediate action. Zimbabweans are pleading for help and if we join our voices across the continent in solidarity, our appeal will be heard in Pretoria and could save lives in Harare. To show President Motlanthe that Africa is counting on him, we want to deliver this message with the support of thousands of African voices to the South African government and to run it as ads in South African newspapers -- so sign the petition now, and please spread it to friends and family:
Zimbabweans have been waiting desperately for security and stability since March this year, when the majority made their views clear. In recent weeks Zimbabweans' fight for survival has become more extreme -- Zimbabwe is paralysed with no government, the highest inflation in the world, widespread hunger, a lethal epidemic, and increasing violence against civilians.(3)
A few African leaders have condemned the situation, and Western leaders have made their views clear, but South Africa's ANC government has the greatest leverage over Zimbabwe's Zanu PF -- not least because of their historic alliance during the liberation struggles , strong economic ties, and its leadership in the South African Development Community. To date, talks have been left to former President Thabo Mbeki -- but his cautious mediation, accused of lacking neutrality, has come to a deadlock and lost public legitimacy. Now the region is offering humanitarian aid, but that is not enough-- now is the time for the governing ANC to act boldly and propose a better way forward.
Last week ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said: "What will we do to make Mugabe retire? We will persuade him."(4) The South African government knows it can do it. Let's give President Motlanthe a strong mandate from the African people to act in our name and save Zimbabwe. Sign our emergency petition now and spread it to friends and family.
The resolution of the breakdown of Zimbabwe is complex for many of us, but as one African leader has recently said: "People need to be held accountable for any wrong they do notwithstanding what good things they did in the past, including liberating the country". At this crucial time, let's stand together as African citizens and call on President Motlanthe to keep Zimbabwe's liberation alive.
The Message is simple:
To President Motlanthe of South Africa,
We, citizens from around Africa, urge your government to recognise that the Mbeki-led talks in Zimbabwe have failed, and we call on you to take the lead in finding an urgent political solution for Zimbabwe, to save lives and avert regional catastrophe. Africa urgently needs you to take the necessary steps to ensure that a government based on the will of the Zimbabwean people can be restored to Zimbabwe, and only this will ensure security and stability.
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