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2013-04-12

AFRICA/ZIMBABWE - The Bishops of Southern Africa demand free and transparent elections

Harare (Agenzia Fides) -To ensure transparent elections that take place in a peaceful atmosphere away from violence. This is the request made by a delegation of IMBISA (Inter-Regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa) to Emilio Guebuza, President of Mozambique and President of SADC (Southern Africa Development Community).
According to a statement sent to Fides, the delegation of IMBISA asked the President of the SADC his help in order "to ensure harmonised national elections in Zimbabwe this year. We have decided to make this request to you and other SADC leaders to avoid the rude awakening we had in 2008 when unprecedented violence was unleashed on the nation in the June Presidential run-off elections."
To avoid a recurrence of these events, the IMBISA delegation requested SADC support so that: All parties sign up The Zimbabwe Political Parties Code of Conduct and International monitors and observers are deployed three months ahead of the presidential elections and remain on the ground for at least another month after the elections to minimize the possibility of violence after the elections.
After reporting that "A very good dialogue followed the presentation of the paper and President Guebuza thanked the interest of IMBISA" the statement concludes by emphasizing the availability of Bishops of Southern Africa to work together to safeguard peace in the region. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/04/2013)

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