The meeting is part of the ongoing meetings being held by Crisis coalition to stimulate debate around the envisaged constitution making process. Resident Councilor Frank Denhere from ward 1 gave a splendid presentation on the various constitutional thematic areas and he welcomed the opportunity for Zimbabweans to write their own constitution as historic. This is an opportune moment to replace the Lancaster house constitution which did not reflect the aspirations and wishes of the people of Zimbabwe said councilor Denhere.
He said a genuine people driven constitution should protect the peoples rights and freedoms and not oppress them as reflected by the current constitution which has been doctored/amended 19 times to bolster the stranglehold on power by individuals against the peoples expectations.
Farai Machaya from Crisis coalition challenged the youth and women to seize this opportunity to address their plight by making empowering inputs into the constitution to address issues of gender parity, unemployment and gender violence to name a few.
ROHR Zimbabwe programs manager Clifford Hlatswayo advocated for the domestication of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (ACPHR) in the impending Zimbabwe constitution, the inalienable universality of human rights and the formation of independent commissions that are free of political interference to guard the peoples fundamental human rights. Hlatswayo also encouraged people to demand transparency and accountability from elected public officials.
Critical issues raised by the people
1) Sovereignty of the people- The imposition of the Kariba draft was vehemently denounced as undemocratic and an affront to the peoples responsibility of writing a constitution.
2) Separation of powers- There should be clearly outlined demarcations on the responsibilities of the three arms of state.
3) Judiciary- Should strive for independence from government interference and control, not a tool of oppression by those in power.
4) Equitable distribution of state resources without discrimination on grounds of political affiliation.
5) There should be a stop to the rampant culture of looting and abuse of state resources.
6) Youth and women empowerment
7) The Rule of Law- As in the book Animal farm by George Orwell no animals are more equal than others and therefore everyone is equal before the law. Only those who strive in anarchy fear the Rule of Law.
8) Uniformed forces should carry out their duties professionally without discriminating on partisan grounds guided by a cord of conduct that respects human dignity. Allegations of torture among the police force should never be tolerated and such acts of impunity should be punished severely.
Prominent businessman, Fortune Mangwiro gave a vote of thanks. He said that Zimbabweans have a lot to learn from the worlds most celebrated democracies during this time of transformation.
Post published in: News