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Civic Activists Demand Input To Zimbabwe Crisis Mediation

The activist group Women of Zimbabwe Arise and its consort, Men of Zimbabwe Arise, have offered a contribution to the crisis mediation led by South African President Thabo Mbeki in a document that outlines “Ten Steps to a New Zimbabwe."

The paper asks whether the intention of the heads of state of the Southern African Development Community, who gave Mr. Mbeki his mediation brief, is to bring forth a new Zimbabwean order without political, economic and social reform, or if the process will be more meaningful than that.The groups have also demanded whether ordinary Zimbabweans will have a voice in the Mbeki mediation process.

The 10 steps urged by WOZA and MOZA include a halt to political violence, equal participation by all groups in society, the repeal of repressive laws such as the Public Order and Security Act, or POSA, and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, or AIPPA, and an end to the selective enforcement of other laws.

WOZA and MOZA, are also demanding a land audit to lay the basis for a permanent and equitable resolution of land reform, while promoting immediate resumption of food production, and urge that the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections are conducted according to SADC principles and guidelines.

WOZA coordinator Jenni Williams told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the organizations want to urge politicians involved in the crisis talks to bear their "Ten Steps" in mind so mediation will yield meaningful results.

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