Transparency International’s chapters in Africa, as members of a global coalition dedicated to the fight against corruption, urge all parties currently involved in talks that will determine the future of Zimbabwe to guarantee full transparency of the political process. Only by establishing a climate of transparency and accountability can Zimbabwe’s leaders ensure credibility of the talks that will resume this weekend to overcome Zimbabwe’s deep political, economic and humanitarian crisis. The ongoing widespread violence and intimidation, particularly against civil society representatives, must end immediately.
In a “Memorandum of Understanding” between President Mugabe’s party, ZANU-PF, and the Movement for Democratic Change on 22 July 2008, all parties confirmed their commitment “to build a society free of violence, fear, intimidation, hate, patronage, corruption and founded on justice, fairness, openness, transparency, dignity and equality”, and promised to adhere “to a dialogue with each other with a view to creating a genuine, viable, permanent and sustainable solution to the Zimbabwean situation”. The current situation in Zimbabwe, where citizens and civil society organisations fear retaliation for criticism or pursuing accountability, does not reflect the spirit of the memorandum.
Transparency International strongly believes that a viable solution and a society free of corruption and founded on transparency can only be possible where political leaders are accountable towards civil society. The failure to provide regular information regarding the development or outcome of the talks threatens to diminish the legitimacy and credibility of the entire process.
Civil society organisations, including those distributing aid to alleviate the suffering of the Zimbabwean people, must be allowed to operate freely throughout the country. Without freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, corruption and other abuses of power cannot be overcome. The arrest and questioning of activists have resulted in a climate of fear, mistrust and impunity that must end immediately.
In this defining moment for Zimbabwe, Transparency International chapters in Africa stand together in Pan-African solidarity and in support of TI Zimbabwe, to demand that the soon to resume talks rest on the pillars of transparency and accountability. Respect for active participation by citizens and NGOs demanding accountability is crucial for helping the people of Zimbabwe overcome their current suffering.
Signed by: Association Algérienne de Lutte contre la Corruption (TI Algeria), TI Cameroon, Ghana Integrity Initiative, TI Kenya, Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia, Transparency International Initiative Madagascar, Transparency Mauritius, Transparence Maroc, Association Nigérienne de lutte contre la Corruption, Transparency in Nigeria, Forum Civil (TI Senegal), National Accountability Group (Sierra Leone), TI South Africa, TI Uganda, TI Zambia
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