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Zimbabwean NGOs Take Southern African Regional Group To Task

Zimbabwe's National Association of Non-Governmental organizations on Wednesday criticized the Southern African Development Community for failing to produce a solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe during the SADC summit which ended Sunday in Johannesburg.

NANGO said it "regrets the continued failure by the Southern African Development Community to oversee the much needed conclusion to its mediation process on Zimbabwe."

The NANGO statement expressed "regret" that SADC had in effect endorsed President Robert Mugabe by inviting him to participate while ignoring a call by Zimbabwean civil society for a transitional authority transcending ruling party-opposition antagonism.

It said the SADC's " uphold and enforce compliance with its stated commitments to democracy, rule of law and human rights has contributed to the rapid deterioration of humanitarian and human rights conditions in Zimbabwe."

NANGO spokesman Fambai Ngirande told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that SADC must be tougher on leaders who gain power through unconstitutional means to prove Southern Africa is genuinely committed to democratic ideals.

Meanwhile, Secretary General Wellington Chibebe of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions warned that unless civil society is brought into the talks between the ruling and opposition parties, power-sharing negotiations will never succeed, as Ntungamili Nkomo reported.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...