With Zimbabwe now in the dangerous pre-election stage, the Vigil is submitting a petition to the UN Secretary General calling for action to avert violence and ensure a level playing field.
The petition reads: 'With mounting unrest in Zimbabwe, we urge you to appoint a Special Representative to prepare the ground for a UN Transitional Authority to take over from the failed Mugabe regime. We look to the Special Representative to initiate comprehensive negotiations so that the UN Transitional Authority can assume control of Zimbabwe's administrative structures - foreign affairs, defence, security, finance and communications - to ensure a level playing field conducive for credible national elections.'
The petition was based on suggestions by Vigil supporter Clifford Mashiri, an academic and former Zimbabwean diplomat, who sadly died last year. The petition has been signed by thousands of people who have passed by our protest outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on Saturdays.
From next week, the Vigil will be running a new petition urging the Southern African Development Community to engage more closely with the Zimbabwe problem and ensure free and fair elections in 2018. The success of the West African Economic Community in peacefully removing the reluctant loser of the recent Gambian presidential election showed how lacking our own regional organisation has been in dealing with Mugabe.
Why do we want outside intervention when we are told that discussions about a coalition to oppose Mugabe in the elections are still on course despite the split in Mujuru's party? To us the key issue is the election modalities and we are not convinced by the progress claimed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
The old order is going. Even the Angolan kleptocrat dos Santos has said he is now stepping down. Kabila of the DRC is on his last legs and Zuma himself appears doomed. But if we wait until Mugabe is the last man standing, what will be left of Zimbabwe?
- Zimbabwe Vigil