2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


LAND INVASIONS IN ZIMBABWE

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY BANTU HOLOMISA, MP
UDM PRESIDENT

The UDM notes with great concern the continuing tensions, confrontations and civil unrest in Zimbabwe resulting from alleged land invasions and the government inability to prevent these tensions from spreading. The UDM welcomes and feels encouraged by the meeting between President Mugabe and the Commercial Farmers Union.

The possible economic chaos in Zimbabwe and its destabilising impact in the region as a whole if this situation continues, any longer cannot be overstated. It is the UDM's view that private talks between the South African government and the Zimbabwean government officials are not enough. President Mugabe as the custodian of his country's constitution should be urged to exercise his moral and legal duty to ensure that law and order prevails. The UDM encourages Nigeria's brokering peace process between Zimbabwe and Britain. The Zimbabwean government should convene a meeting of all stakeholders in Zimbabwe to prepare for elections and lay down ground
rules that will ensure:

That the run-up to the election is not clouted with intimidation
The elections are free and fair
The election results are accepted by all

The racial undertones of the tensions in Zimbabwe cannot be underestimated and are instructive for other countries, especially South Africa and therefore our government and its SADC partners would do well to urge all interested parties in the Zimbabwean situation to find new measures and more resources to implement the land reform programmes in consultation with all relevant stake holders in an acceptable manner.

Inflammatory, racist and partisan statements by some South African parties on the situation in Zimbabwe can only exacerbate the situation.

Enquiries:
Malizole Diko


Cape Town
18 April 2000