Democracy Charter: Zim under pressure

STATE of the Union (Sotu), a coalition of civil society organisations, is pressuring Zimbabwe and 38 other countries to develop clear plans to domesticate, ratify and implement the African Charter on Democracy, Governance and Elections (ACDGE) by the end of the AU summit currently underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Zimbabwe’s democracy and human rights record has been blighted by rights violations, arrests, detentions and killings of dissenting political activists.

 Sotu also seeks to push governments to increase long-term investment in agriculture and natural resource management to support small-scale food producers in line with the AU Comprehensive Agriculture Development Programme, as well as ratify the African Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa. Sotu coalition coordinator Jamillah Mwanjisi said it was unacceptable that very few governments had taken effective steps to domesticate and implement the charter despite Africa being riddled with and affected by coups and electoral irregularities.

“It’s a shame that to date 39 states are yet to ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Governance and Election despite the recent experiences of Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal and Malawi,” said Mwanjisi. “Africa is ill-prepared to manage the more than eight elections coming up next year.”

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