Letter on Zimbabwe – 1st May 2008

01 May 2008

We are deeply concerned at the deepening crisis in Zimbabwe and the slow pace at which matters of utmost constitutional importance are progressing. The people of Zimbabwe have expressed their democratic will for the future of their country. They have the right to see it announced and implemented as a matter of the most urgent priority. The continuing delay has thrown a shadow over an electoral process and casts doubt on the integrity of the authorities charged with implementation. Post-election violence has already compromised any continuing electoral process; to inspire confidence all electoral processes must be transparent and must operate within the framework of the constitution of Zimbabwe.

We call upon all who can bring influence to bear on events in Zimbabwe to ensure that the rule of law is upheld. This includes the right of all the people of Zimbabwe to cast their votes through electoral processes that are free of coercion by threat of violence, forcible removal or detention. It also includes the right to see their vote at the ballot box transformed into a democratically elected and accountable government.

The world is united in admiration for the patience of the people of Zimbabwe in pursuing the democratic path to renew their country. However, the patience of the world is running out in waiting for their wishes to be honoured by the current Government of Zimbabwe.

Vaclav Havel – writer and dramatist, last President of Czechoslovakia (1989-1992)and first President of the Czech Republic(1993-2003)

Doris Lessing – writer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (2007)

Bill Morris – trade unionist, General Secretary of the Transport & General Workers Union (1991 – 2003), member of the House of Lords since 2006

David Puttnam – film producer, member of the House of Lords since 1997

Kenneth Roth – Executive Director of Human Rights Watch since 1993