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Report on the public discussion "The senate and the MDC crisis. Which
to the meeting
Before the senate election, the opposition MDC crept into a rift and decision crisis, specifically on whether to participate or not. Two camps emerged, and one camp went into the election and lost. The key outcome of the election was the historic boycott of the election in Zimbabwe’s 100-year history of elections.
The Zimbabwean people united and vehemently rejected the 17th constitutional amendment as a whole, which was manifested by their clear boycott of the election. Key issues of concern to the people of Zimbabwe revolve around the economic crisis and the arrogance of the government. In a bid to address the governance crisis in Zimbabwe, the opposition MDC, whose contribution to the struggle for democracy was immense, became a source of worry to many people of Zimbabwe. In addition to this, because of the unilateral media policy in the state media, there emerged a cognitive imbalance among the people of Zimbabwe as to what the future holds amidst the current crisis. This is what the public meeting sought to address and it was extensively debated.
3.0 Summary of
They identified the key agenda of Zanu PF as not being people first, but seeks to, among others:
The senate was dismissed as a playhouse (mere puff). It was noted to be representing a desecration of national processes that are sacrosanct. The lack of solemnity and excitement about the senate means it is illegitimate.
Jessie Majome, the Spokesperson of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) emphasized that the senate must not be taken seriously as it displays the failure of the government of Zimbabwe. In dismissing the senate, she noted that the Zimbabwean economy had shrunk by 40% in the last five years, above 80% unemployment rate, above 411% inflation rate and where civil servants, nurses in particular resort to sleeping at work because they can not afford transport fares. She further dismissed the senate in noting that there already existed a senate in Zimbabwe, because on the abolition of the senate in 1989, the Minister of Justice informed parliament on the 7th of November 1989 that the senate was not being abolished. Rather it was the Lower House that was being abolished.
Briggs Bomba of the International Socialist Organisation (ISO) and Sydney Chisi of Zimbabwe Integrated Youth Projects (ZIYSAP) agreed with Jessie in dismissing the senate and its founding act, the 17th constitutional amendment.
Bomba called upon the people of Zimbabwe to continue with the struggle, particularly, for the progressive forces to unite and revolve around a democratic front that focused on a people centered economy.
On the MDC, they noted that it is the height of irony that the party is cracked on such a clear issue as the senate election. The three agreed that the progressive forces must continue with their agenda for democracy and partner those sections that identify with the needs and aspirations of the poor in the MDC.
Members of the public that commented called on the civil society leadership to constantly adopt new tactics and strategies in the struggle for democracy.
Visit the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition fact sheet
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