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Zimbabwe Civic Groups Urge Region to Press for Pre-Election Reforms


Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Coordinator Dewa Mavhinga, head of the NGO delegation, said Zimbabwe can learn a lot from Zambia, in particular regarding the peaceful transfer of executive power

Zimbabwean civic groups under the banner of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition have launched a campaign within the Southern African subregion in a bid to make sure that the Harare government introduces key reforms ahead of any new elections.

President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF has indicated it intends to start campaigning soon after its annual conference in December. President Mugabe has said that elections must be held no later than March 2012, but some believe they won't be possible until 2012.

NGO representatives on Wednesday were in Zambia, a member of the Southern African Development Community's troika or working committee on politics, defense and security, which has a brief to follow and advise on the Zimbabwe crisis.

The other members are Tanzania and South Africa.

SADC has asked the troika to ensure that the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing in Zimbabwe is respected and that elections will be free and fair.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Coordinator Dewa Mavhinga, head of the NGO delegation in Lusaka, told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that Zimbabwe can learn a lot from Zambia, in particular regarding the peaceful transfer of executive power.

Michael Sata, leader of the Patriotic Front party was sworn in as Zambia's new president in September after years in the opposition.

Mr. Sata won a decisive electoral victory over former president Rupiah Banda of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, the longtime ruling party.

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