Civil society speaks out on constitution

Matabeleland-based civil society organisations have vowed to campaign for a “No” vote if the new constitution fails to meet minimum content benchmarks. Meeting under the Southern region constitutional conference banner last week, they said the new constitution should guarantee an electoral system which provides a fair representation of all geographic areas and enables increased representation and participation by minorities and women.

“We will not support a constitution which does not address past injustices such as Gukurahundi. The new constitution should also guarantee the prevention of future injustices. These issues are not negotiable,” said Effie Ncube, the chairperson of Macra. Some of the participants threatened to decamping political parties in the next elections which are not willing to embrace the benchmarks.

They also demanded local control and ownership of natural resources, the right to vote for those in the Diaspora, regular free and fair elections as well as the provision of independent commissions to promote democracy and the enjoyment of human rights and freedoms.

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