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GPA principals should publicly condemn intimidation of people in
the constitution making outreach
Youth Alliance for Democracy
July 08, 2010
for Democracy calls upon the principals of the Global
Political Agreement to publicly condemn intimidation by their
party members in the constitution making outreach. The constitution
making outreach has entered its third week and so far there are
reports of disruptions, silencing of dissenting voices, threats
and biased, stage-managed rhetoric deliberately crafted to either
undermine certain sections of the community or to provoke them into
uttering statements likely to cause violence.
A good example is the
demand of a president who has a well known history of liberation
struggle by speaker after speaker. This has emerged from almost
all Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) meetings held
in ZANU PF strongholds. Such actions compromise the outcome of the
constitution since the vulnerable sections of the community will
be scared to air their views openly.
The situation has been
worsened by the fact that most communities were not educated on
the constitutional and non-constitutional issues. This was as a
result of too much focus on either to participate in the parliamentary
led constitutional making process or not. This resulted in most
civic society groups debating more on process rather than content,
the ultimate product of the whole process. Given the limited time
of the COPAC meetings, much time is being lost attempting to channel
citizens in the right direction pertaining the real constitutional
issues particularly the adoption of a Quota System for youths in
Of great concern our
Community Electoral Clubs have reported serious youth apathy in
all the meetings held so far with serious cases in Matabeleland
South, that is, Nkazhe, Mawaza, Mtshazo, Glass Block and Samlodi
where youth participation is dwindling between 16.8% and 21.3% translating
to an average of 19.1%. This is a bitter pill to swallow for the
young people because if that trend continues unabated, youths will
remain passengers in issues of national development and rubberstampers
of decisions made in their absence.
As Youth Alliance for
Democracy we maintain that participation should be meaningful and
youths should participate freely, at every stage of any given process
in question. To us the electoral process is continuous and as an
electoral youth body already we are concerned about the stated anomalies.
We are, however, optimistic that sense will knock in the heads of
those who call the shots in Zimbabwean politics to bring to an end
this furore. We call upon fellow youth organisations to mobilize
their membership to meaningfully participate to air their views.
At the end of the whole
process YAD will host an all-stakeholders conference to take a position
on our stance with regards to the referendum. Thereafter strategic
partners will be engaged to add their voices to the concerns which
would have arisen.
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