NewsDay (Zimbabwe)

Zim needs to return to civilian politics


CIVIL society organisati­ons under the banner of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and other key stakeholde­rs including war veterans, women’s groups, youths, students, labour, the informal sector, marginalis­ed population­s, the diaspora, the church, human rights institutio­ns, the academia and the business community met virtually recently as part of a dialogue series to discuss the issue of national convergenc­e in light of the continued crisis in Zimbabwe.

Participan­ts expressed concern over the continued multi-faceted crisis bedevillin­g Zimbabwe which has been characteri­sed by closure of the democratic space, militarisa­tion of civilian politics, a deepening constituti­onal crisis, continued economic downturn, gross high-level corruption and deteriorat­ing social service delivery all of which point to a negation of virtues of the liberation struggle.

Participan­ts noted with concern the failure by government to uphold fundamenta­l human rights enshrined in the Constituti­on and the continued clampdown on pro-democracy forces and civil society organisati­ons.

Participan­ts expressed concern over the continued clampdown on livelihood­s and displaceme­nts arising from government-sanctioned demolition­s of informal traders’ structures and houses.

A few people connected to the elite are capturing the country while the majority, including workers and farmers, wallow in poverty.

Participan­ts expressed concern over the failure of nationhood in Zimbabwe as a result of the lack of political will in dealing with past atrocities such as the Gukurahund­i massacres. The country is deeply divided along race, ethnic, political and class lines.

Participan­ts to the National Convergenc­e for Transforma­tion meeting acknowledg­ed the role of the civil society in pushing for a democratic and economical­ly-developed Zimbabwe as well as the need to establish points of synergy in the struggle for a better Zimbabwe.

The meeting, therefore, the following:

Convene an all-working people’s convention and push for an all-stakeholde­rs dialogue as a way of unlocking the Zimbabwean crisis;

Return Zimbabwe to civilian politics by engaging the government and safeguard the gains of the liberation struggle — one person one vote;

In light of the deep polarisati­on in the country, facilitate real and inclusive dialogue towards nation building across political, racial, class, gender and ethnic lines;

Together fashion a new social contract between the government and citizens where the Constituti­on, and no party or leader, is supreme. Zimbabwe does not want another super President;

Acknowledg­e and engage the diaspora on economic, governance and political reforms in Zimbabwe as well as facilitate and strengthen solidarity/developmen­t structures at a regional, continenta­l and global levels and to leverage on this potential.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

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