Crisis of Legitimacy and Zimbabwe’s Democratic Deficit

The newly elected Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) chairperson Rashid Mahiya has called for Zimbabwean citizens to remain actively engaged in the governance of the country, cognizant of the fact that the legitimacy and authority to govern is and should be only derived from citizens through democratic free and fair elections.

He made the profound statement while delivering his acceptance speech on behalf of the new executive at the Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo on the 14th of December 2017 at the end of the AGM. The chairperson went further to outline that in an environment where the government faces serious legitimacy crisis, the responsibility of civil society in the aftermath of the military coup, is to insist on principled observation and compliance with the Constitution. He further called upon the stakeholders to acknowledge the centrality of the citizens in the efforts to return Zimbabwe to legitimacy, democracy and the rule of law. 

“The country is facing a political and economic crisis, which has been further worsened by the illegal seizure of the state by the military adding serious legitimacy issues to an already dire situation. The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, with its record of thought leadership informed by the wide diversity of its nationally present and active membership, has the responsibility of providing a platform on which the various stakeholders debate and postulate clear and lasting solutions which inform policy towards a democratic order …” argued Mahiya 

He further noted the following key issues:

·         That the government of Zimbabwe should address the economic crisis by instituting economic reforms which will revive livelihoods by addressing the challenge of unemployment and serivce delivery while respecting the rights of informal traders and vendors who are victims of the current political and economic crisis.The government should appreciate the indivisibility of rights and should therefore address both economic and political rights of citizens.

·         That current Zimbabwe government should ensure the return to legitimate civilian authority, constitutionalism, democracy and the rule of law through holding indisputable free and fair democratic elections monitored by the regional and international bodies such as Southern African Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN).

·         There need for institutional reforms for the purposes of building public confidence in the government’s sincerity and commitment to reform and chart a new trajectory 

The just ended Annual General Meeting (AGM) ushered in CiZC National Executive Council that will serve the organisation for the next two years. 

The national executive committee for 2017-2019 will be as follows:- 

Chairperson:- Rashid Mahiya, Heal Zimbabwe Trust Executive Director. He takes over from Sally Dura of the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe.

Vice Chairperson:- Sakhile Sifelani, Women in Politics Support Unit, she takes over from George Makoni of Centre for Community Development Zimbabwe.

Treasurer:- Evernice Munando, Director Female Students Network, takes over from renowned human rights lawyer and legal expert Aleck Muchadehama. 

Spokesperson:- Tabani Moyo, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe Acting Director, he takes over from Dumisani Nkomo of Habakkuk Trust. 

The board also consists of chairpersons from the following 7 committees:-

  1. Advocacy Committee chaired by Anoziva Muguti of Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Association (MURRA).
  2. Youth committee chaired by Pride Mkono of  Youth Environmental Management and Protection Trust (YEMAP)
  3. Human Rights and Democracy Committee chaired by Okay Machisa of Zimbabwe Human Rights Trust (ZIMRIGHTS)
  4. Gender and women committee chaired by Rita Nyamupinga of the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe
  5. Peace Building Committee chaired by Reverend Useni Sibanda of  Zimbabwe Christian Alliance
  6. Arts and Culture Committee chaired by Daniel Maphosa of Savannah Trust
  7. Media and Information committee chaired by Tawanda Chimhini of the Election Resource Centre.

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