Among its objectives, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance seeks to promote adherence by member States to the universal values and principles of democracy and respect for human rights.
As an umbrella body of civic society organisations committed to democracy and economic development in Zimbabwe, CIZC notes with concern limited adherence by the Zimbabwean government to the objectives set under the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
These include â€œadherence to the principle of the rule of law premised upon the respect for, and the supremacy of, the Constitution and constitutional orderâ€, the holding of â€œregular free and fair elections to institutionalize legitimate authorityâ€, â€œthe establishment of the necessary conditions to foster citizen participation, transparency, access to information, freedom of the press and accountability in the management of public affairâ€ and the promotion of â€œbest practices in the management of elections for purposes of political stability and good governance.â€
As CIZC we are concerned over the lackadaisical approach by the government in implementing the new Constitution adopted in 2013 as well as wanton violation of the Constitution by security forces.
Of late, Zimbabwe has witnessed an upsurge in cases of arrests and assaults of peaceful protestors seeking to exercise their Constitutional right to protest peacefully as outlined in Section 59 of the countryâ€™s Constitution.
The case of missing human rights activist, Itai Dzamara who was abducted by alleged State security agents in March 2015 is another case in point of the continued disregard of the Constitution which has impacted negatively on peopleâ€™s fundamental rights such as the right to life and human dignity.
Freedom of the press remains a challenge as well, with many cases of arrests and victimization of journalists having been reported in the past year and we implore the government to uphold the Constitution through guaranteeing press freedom and citizensâ€™ access to information.
Given the fact that the slow implementation of Zimbabwe has largely retarded the achievement of a democratic Zimbabwe, CIZC implores the government to speedily implement the new constitution in line with the AUâ€™s acceptable standards.
CIZC is also concerned over the lack of public participation and accountability in the management of public affairs that has resulted in massive plunder of national resources by those in the echelons of power.
As we celebrate Africa Day, CIZC urgesâ€‹
the Zimbabwean government to treat the issue of electoral reforms as a matter of urgency as the country heads for the 2018 elections.
We are convinced that best election practices are critical for the development of nations thus Zimbabwe needs to ensure it conforms to AU acceptable standards on democratic elections.
Zimbabwe has had a history of contested elections which have impacted negatively on economic growth hence we contend that transparent elections are critical for the development of the countryPost published in: Africa News