Zimbabwe Global Political Agreement: One-Year Forward

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Michael Stulman (202) 546-7961

Zimbabwe Global Political Agreement: One-Year Forward

WASHINGTON -  Today is the one-year anniversary of the power-sharing accord that
resulted in
the creation of the new Zimbabwe unity government in early 2009.  One-year forward, Africa Action notes that
while serious challenges remain, significant changes have been made to
improve
the economic and political conditions on the ground. 

Gerald LeMelle, Executive Director of Africa
Action said
today, “The unity government has made some successful steps in
providing democratic space in Zimbabwe.  Civic
leaders have been able to begin discussions on how best to organize and
regroup
to realize the potential for political and economic reform in the near
future.”

Africa Action notes the ban on international media
has been
lifted and independent organizations and journalists are set to report
from
Zimbabwe so to allow greater media diversity.

For the sake of ordinary people from Zimbabwe
who are
celebrating improvements accomplished as a result of the peace accord,
the new
unity government must fulfill its obligations as outlined in the
agreement,”
added
LeMelle. 

The Global Political Agreement that gave birth to
Zimbabwe’s
unity government stipulates that the country must have a new
constitution by
August 2010. The creation of new constitution remains fundamental to
the
protection of human rights in the country.

“The process of making a new constitution will
be one of
the most important steps forward for the unity government in Zimbabwe.
It must
guarantee good governance, economic fairness and social justice,

said
Michael Stulman, Associate Director of Policy and Communications.

Africa Action was invited to participate in the
People’s
Constitutional Convention organized by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
and the
National Alliance for NGOs (NANGO), in Harare. 
There were more than 2,000 activists from 234 civic groups.

Africa Action highlighted four benchmarks for a
truly
democratic constitution:

  1. A Free Political Environment
  2. A People Driven Process
  3. A Democratic Content
  4. A Free and Fair Referendum

For further analysis, read the report, The
2009 People’s
Constitutional Convention
here.

Stulman adds, “This is a fragile and delicate
transition
in Zimbabwe.  If tensions within the
unity government increase further, we could begin to see an unraveling
of
progress made in the past year.”

Briggs Bomba, Director of Campaigns at Africa
Action, is
available to comment on the Global Political Agreement. 
Briggs has extensive experience working with
civil society organizations in Zimbabwe and other African countries.

*To arrange interviews, e-mail Michael Stulman or
call (m) 202-469-9542*

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Africa Action is a national organization that works for political, economic and social justice in Africa. Through the provision of accessible information and analysis combined with the mobilization of public pressure we work to change the policies and policy-making processes of U.S. and multinational institutions toward Africa. The work of Africa Action is grounded in the history and purpose of its predecessor organizations, the American Committee on Africa (ACOA), The Africa Fund, and the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), which have fought for freedom and justice in Africa since 1953. Continuing this tradition, Africa Action seeks to re-shape U.S. policy toward African countries.

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