The eminent social scientist Karl Weick once said that social problems are often defined in ways that prevent us doing anything about them.
I have been watching the Zimbabwean elections closely. As facts emerge, I have been listing them on a “secondary” blog.
The situation in Zimbabwe is as dire any conflict in history. Can we move here? Can we move there? It seems the ultimate Catch 22. Whatever we do may create more damage.
I believe however that much of our hopelessness comes from our own representation of what is happening. Could we not, instead, look at difficult objective conditions that require resolution?
Today, people are starting close in, as the poet David Whyte would say.
Today, we are going to do something positive. Today we are going to say thank you. Today we are going to say we are with you. Today we are going to send emails to the President of Zambia who is the current chairman of SADC. Today, we are going to take 3 minutes to write a short, brief, courteous email saying,
Dear President Mwanawasa,
I write to thank you and the leaders of SADC sincerely for convening the extraordinary meeting concerning Zimbabwe and to extend my support and goodwill for a resolution that is satisfactory to all the people of Zimbabwe and her neighbours.
I am patching in a long excerpt of a post from Sokwanele that gives the email addresses of SADC. Zimbabwe for a positive future.
Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has called an emergency meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to discuss the Zimbabwean presidential poll delay. This is the first move by Zimbabwe’s regional neighbours to intervene since the elections on 29th March 2008. President Mwanawasa is the current Chairman of the 14-nation South African Development Community. This is what he said yesterday:
I wish to take this opportunity to commend the people of Zimbabwe for the calm and peaceful manner in which the elections were conducted.
Similarly, I appeal to them to maintain the same spirit of calmness which they exhibited during the elections as they await the results of the presidential elections.
However, given developments immediately following the elections, I have decided, as Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to call an extraordinary summit on Saturday 12th April, 2008 to discuss ways and means of assisting the people of Zimbabwe with the current impasse as well as adopt a co-ordinated approach to the situation in that country.
Both President Morgan Tsvangirai and opposition leader Robert Mugabe will be attending the emergency meeting.
Support our democratically elected leader and take action.
What YOU can do
You can voice your feelings and SHOUT OUT for FREEDOM. Communicate with key SADC people attending the meeting.
Tell them that Zimbabweans have the right to live in a democratic, free and peaceful country. Tell them your personal experiences and why you want change. Make them understand what it is like to be in Zimbabwe today. Tell them we voted for change, we got change, and we want change now. Speak the TRUTH.
HOW you can do it
Email, fax or phone using the details provided below. Keep your messages real and honest but also short and to the point. Remember: thousands of us will be doing this so they will have a lot to read. Let’s make sure they can read and hear it all!
Be polite at all times. People don’t pay attention to angry messages (look at us: Mugabe has been angry with the people for many years now and we just ignored him and voted him out anyway). Anger does not work.
1. Call or fax or email the Zambian State House with a message for President Levy Mwanawasa:
- Tel: +260 1 266147 or 262094
- Fax: +260 1 266092
- Send an email to Mr John Musukuma, Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use the contact form on the Zambian State House website here to send an email:
- Bonus email: we’re not sure if this is a direct contact for President Mwanawasa, but just in case it is, copy all the emails you send to: email@example.com
2. Call or fax a message to President Thabo Mbeki – President of South Africa
- Tel: +27 (0)12 300 5200 and +27 (0)21 464 2100
- Fax: +27 (0)12 323 8246 and +27 (0)21 462 2838
- Send an email to Mr Mukoni Ratshitanga Thabo Mbeki’s Presidential Spokesperson: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Call or email Lieutenant Colonel Tanki Mothae – Director of Politics, Defence and Security Affairs at SADC
- Tel: +267 361 1001 or +267 397 2848
- E-mail: email@example.com
4. Copy all your emails to this general SADC email address:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. If you want to attach images to your emails, you can download copies of the photographs at the top of this mailing from the Sokwanele flickr account here:
6. Forward this email to everyone you know and ask them to take action too.
7. Be positive, stay strong, and never forget that we have won.