Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from the Zimbabwe Democracy Trust

  1.  It is clear that the extent of the crisis in Zimbabwe and the impact it is having on Zimbabweans and the SADC region is understood.

  2.  The issue is therefore not to understand or discuss the nature of the crisis any further, but to look at what the British government can do to alleviate the crisis in:

    (a)  the short-term

    (b)  the long-term

  3.  We believe there are three courses of action that need to be taken.

    i.  Practical and humanitarian measures to address the famine and help the displaced farmers and workers.

    ii.  Strategic diplomatic relations aimed at ensuring there is a constructive dialogue between all players so that there is an appropriate and co-ordinated response from the international community—including the SADC countries and Nigeria—when Zimbabwe's one-year suspension from the Commonwealth is due for review.

    iii.  Setting up of a multi-party parliamentary Zimbabwe Committee with a mandate to ensure that i. and ii. above are being adequately addressed. The Committee should have responsibility for driving the preparation and co-ordination of a strategic policy plan for Zimbabwe related to the possible scenarios at the end of the one year Commonwealth suspension.


  4.  Set up a fund or project aimed at addressing the specific needs of the displaced farmers and workers.

  5.  Set up a cross-party parliamentary Zimbabwe Committee.


  6.  Agree that a strategic and co-ordinated plan of action from the international community is needed so that it is prepared to deal with Zimbabwe when the one-year suspension deadline is due. Focus on including SADC and Nigeria in this co-ordinated response.

  7.  Take leadership of the issue using the EU and the Commonwealth and use the G8 summit as a platform to raise the issue. Focus on the need to address the famine and increasing the international isolation of President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.

  8.  While there is an obvious need to place emphasis on President Mbeki and the South African government, it is also important to ensure that this relationship is seen to be nurtured through the SADC countries. South Africa has made it clear that it intends to use the SADC mechanism to address the Zimbabwe issue and it is critical that the British government is seen to be supporting and respecting this approach.

  9.  This is important in order to avoid the "us and them" situation that occurred when Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth. It is vital that the SADC leaders and institutions see the international community as a constructive partner in helping to solve regional crisis caused by Zimbabwe, rather than a group of former colonial powers seeking to impose their will on the region. This will give President Mugabe less leverage in terms of playing his British colonial race card.


  Established in April 2000, the Zimbabwe Democracy Trust's (ZDT) principle goal is to help the democratic will of the people flourish, thereby facilitating the development of a vibrant and healthy society. The ZDT is a non-partisan Trust backed by highly respected international figures with a connection to, and love for, Zimbabwe—comprising businessmen, statesmen, diplomats and politicians.

  The ZDT works to give the people of Zimbabwe a better future by facilitating and supporting initiatives to:

    —  Promote an effective multi-party political system.

    —  Encourage the registration of voters and assist in the conduct of elections.

    —  Support constitutional reform.

    —  Encourage transparency in governance and respect for the rule of law.

    —  Encourage the rooting out of corruption.

    —  To support civil society and the democratic will of the people.

    —  To raise awareness of the situation in Zimbabwe to the wider world.

    —  To provide financial support to the cause of democracy.

  There is an urgent need for those who want to see a free and democratic future for Zimbabwe to step forward. The Zimbabwe Democracy Trust strives to give Zimbabwe back its future.

Zimbabwe Democracy Trust

May 2002

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