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Home | ZimCrisis#123 -- MDC Press Release Concerning the US Zimbabwe Democracy Act

Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 19:28:26 -0700
To: "Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List":;
From: Zimbabwe Crisis
Subject: ZimCrisis#123 -- MDC Press Release Concerning the US Zimbabwe Democracy Act


Zvobgo and Mudenge are deliberately misleading the world into believing that the Zimbabwe Democracy Act calls for sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Nowhere in the Act is the dreaded word SANCTIONS mentioned. For those in Zimbabwe who have not read the Act, please do so! It was printed in Thursday's "Daily News", and should therefore be available on-line from them (e-mail editorial@dailynews.co.zw).

The ZDA begins by noting with concern the lack of democracy existing at present, and lists its findings : the breakdown of the rule of law, the pre-electoral violence, the excessive power of the president, the cost of the DRC involvement, etc.

Its intention is undeniably to promote democracy in Zimbabwe: "STATEMENT OF POLICY- It is therefore the policy of the United States to support the people of Zimbabwe in their struggles to effect peaceful, democratic change, achieve broad-based and equitable economic growth, and restore the rule of law."

It does not seek to "overthrow the legitimate government", and it specifically mentions that all US funding for basic human needs (e.g., social, housing and health programmes) will CONTINUE. What will stop is any further funding direct to the ZanuPF government for the simple reason that government is not promoting democracy or protecting human and civil rights - what US funding will be targeted at in future. Funding for government would only resume when government proves that it has restored the rule of law and permits opposition forces their democratic rights. The fact that ZanuPF is ranting and railing against this Act is an admission on their part that they do not promote democracy, that they do not intend to restore the rule of law or allow citizens their democratic rights. On the issue of "interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state", I would like to quote Carlos Lopes of UNDP (Resident Representative here until 10 days ago) in his farewell speech, who reminded us of the difference between being neutral and being apolitical or non-partisan. He pointed out that no decent human being can justify remaining neutral when s/he sees gross violation of human rights or gross injustice. There comes a time when one is duty-bound to intervene, but other nations have a duty to remain apolitical in their intervention.

This is the stance of the American promoters of this Act, and I believe that they should be praised for their stand and their support for the forces of good in this country.

Please let them hear your support, and please pass this message on to everyone you know inside and outside Zimbabwe, URGENTLY. We must act quickly to counteract the forces of evil.

Trudy Stevenson Secretary for Research and Policy, MDC
13 August 2000

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Brief list of helpful sites on the issue:
- Zimbabwe Crisis mailing list archives -- http://www.niner.net/zimcrisis
- Comprehensive news updates -- http://www.1freespace.com/beetee
- Offers of and requests for help for Zimbabweans -- http://pub9.ezboard.com/boffersofhelp
- Commercial Farmers' Union -- http://www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
- Movement for Democratic Change -- http://www.in2zw.com/mdc
- Zimbabwe Democracy Trust -- http://www.zimbabwedemocracytrust.org
- BSAP Pursuit of Zimbabwean Criminals -- http://www.bsaphq.f9.co.uk