SAIIA National Council Statement on Zimbabwe and Kenya

The National Council of the South African Institute of International Affairs at its annual meeting in Johannesburg today, (Thursday 10 April 2008), expressed alarm at the continuing undermining of democratic processes in Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Democracy is a time tested system for creating governments that are accountable to the people of their respective countries. It requires elections to be free and fair and for the results to be released and respected expeditiously by all the parties.

Speaking on behalf of the Council, National Chairman of the Institute, Mr Fred Phaswana, expressed concern at the practice whereby incumbents tamper with election processes or threaten violence against the electorate in order to thwart the will of the people. The outcome of an election should not be the subject for further negotiations between the competing parties.

Mr Phaswana will convey the views of the National Council to President Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia, current chairman of SADC, who has called a meeting of SADC on the Zimbabwean crisis at the weekend.

For further comments you may contact:

Ms Elizabeth Sidiropoulos
National Director of the South African Institute of International Affairs
(t) +27 11 339-2021
(f) +27 11 339-2154

21 Apr 2008