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University of Zimbabwe students during a protest to oust President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe has since resigned as head of state.

SADC Alliance calls for speedy elections in Zimbabwe

The SADC Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions and Ombudsman has called for the Zimbabwean government to head to the polls without delay.

The Alliance, which met in Tshwane this week, said it has taken note of the positive political developments taking place in Zimbabwe, chief among them, the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Alliance said: “[We] express the hope that the Government of Zimbabwe will proceed to allow the people to express their will through democratic elections which should be held without delay. The Alliance further calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure respect for the human rights of the people of Zimbabwe”.

The Alliance applauded the peaceful manner, discipline and respect for human rights demonstrated by the Zimbabwean people and its leaders.

“It is encouraging that all parties involved in this episode undertook unreservedly to uphold in the process of change the Constitution and its principles on protection and enhancement of human rights democracy and the rule of law,” said the Alliance.

It further urged Zimbabweans to forge a new democratic dispensation that will turn its economy around and see it realise most of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and 2063 Agendas.

Former President Robert Mugabe resigned from office on 21 November 2017 after 37 years in office.

The 93-year-old’s resignation was announced by Jacob Mudendahe, the Zimbabwean Parliament Speaker, who said he received a letter from Robert Mugabe that read that the President is resigning.

In the letter, President Mugabe said that he decided to step down to allow for the smooth transition of power in the country.

“In terms of the provisions of section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe, amendment number 20, 2013.

“My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arises from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and my desire to ensure a smooth, peaceful and non-violent transfer of power that underpins national security, peace and stability.

“Kindly give public notice of my resignation as soon as possible as required by section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe,” Robert Mugabe said.

On Sunday, Zimbabwe’s ruling party announced that President Mugabe had been removed from his position as President and first secretary of the ZANU PF by a unanimous vote at a Central Committee Special Session in Harare. The party said he had been given until midday on Monday to resign from his position as Head of State. – SAnews.gov.za

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