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Maori Party - Notice of Motion on Zimbabwe

Parliamentary Notice of Motion on Zimbabwe


Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader of the Maori Party

Tuesday 24 June 2008; 2.20pm

In October 2007, we in the Maori Party met with leading Zimbabwe political figure, Sekai Holland.

It was a meeting that would have a profound effect on us all.

We heard in graphic detail, about the extreme violence that had characterised the attacks of March 11.

We learnt about the fatal shooting of Mr Gift Tandare, youth chair of the National Constitutional Assembly in Harare; we heard of the numbers of members from the Movement for Democratic Change that were assaulted and taken into custody, including Sekai Holland herself.

And so we come to this discussion today, knowing too of the fresh violence in Zimbabwe now; in which again it is reported that Morgan Tsvangirai and the supporters of Movement for Democratic Change are being targeted.

But we have learnt too, of the willingness of Morgan Tsvangirai to be open to negotiation with Mugabe's ZANU-PF Party, on the condition that the violence ceases.

And so, we rise to the Notice of Motion; reminding ourselves of the emphasis on manaakitanga.

Manaakitanga - in which the interests of other nations are considered. Manaakitanga is demonstrated when we respect other nations and their peoples for their ability and capacity to define solutions, which spring forth from their own unique culture and indigenous approaches.

We know that the African nations have indicated that mediation and talks are important in the pursuit of reconciliation and liberation. They are committed to a better Zimbabwe; and they know liberation will involve all leaders of the South African Development Community working together.

We recall the honourable initiative taken previously by Southern African Development Community in bringing together Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and the other member nations to talk, to listen, to negotiate.

We have learnt of the emphasis being given by both the African Union and the South African Development Community to discuss what they can do together to cease the political violence.

And we remember the calls that have come from the Movement from Democratic Change and many of the peoples of Zimbabwe, for the United Nations to give urgent priority for the reconstruction and humanitarian assistance.

And we endorse the call for President Mugabe to step down.

The issues confronting Zimbabwe are indeed substantial; as are the issues facing the conflict for the Tibetan people in China; the conflicts occurring in Mynamar, Turkey, Iran, and so we could go on.

In considering the situation for Zimbabwe, we must have confidence that the people can determine their own solutions; but we also speak out in order for these people to have a voice.

History tells us that unless the peoples of the land are involved in determining their solutions to conflict, peace will always be fragile and temporary.

We absolutely agree that the international world must have an strong opinion in condemning any abuse of human rights and democratic freedom.

But the long-term reconciliation is best settled by those people themselves.

We support the Notice of Motion as a vote of confidence in the people who struggle in defence of their human rights and democratic freedoms, every day.

We condemn any regime based on violence.

We know that the hope of the people of Zimbabwe and their sister nations, is for long-term peace and legitimate leadership which embodies what we value as tino rangatiratanga.

ENDS


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