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Zimbabwean Civic Activists Lobby Southern African Summit in Lesotho


Civic activists from the Southern African region were preparing to protest in Maseru, Lesotho, over Zimbabwe's record on human rights, among other issues, as the heads of state of the Southern African Development Community gathered for a summit.

More than a dozen nongovernmental organizations were represented in Maseru.

Spokespersons for the dozen or so NGO groups in Maseru said they would present a communique to the summit, which they hoped would be taken up on Thursday.

Zimbabwean civic groups were set to meet with former president Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania, named by President Robert Mugabe to mediate between Zimbabwe and Britain, to focus instead on mediating an internal resolution of the national crisis.

SADC heads of state were expected to give their endorsement to Mkapa's nomination as Zimbabwean mediator - though it is unclear what direction his mission will take now that British offiicals have made clear they are not interested in the proposed talks reviewing historical disagreements over Zimbabwe's land reform program.

For the NGO perspective, reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe Coordinator Jacob Mafume, in Maseru.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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