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society cluster consultative meetings on the ongoing constitutional
Association of Non-Governmental Organisations in Zimbabwe (NANGO)
April 29, 2010
The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations
(NANGO) facilitated Civil Society Cluster Consultative Meetings
on the ongoing constitutional reform process from 27 to 29 April
2010. The meetings were attended by 712 delegates representative
of the various stakeholders within civil society actively participating
on the constitutional reform process.
thematic clusters expressed strong reservations concerning the administration
and level of consultation with regard to the conduct of the process.
Civil Society's major concern is that the Constitutional Parliamentary
Select Committee (COPAC)'s talking points planned for the outreach
program are prescriptive and suggestive hence probabilities are
high that the output thereof shall not adequately represent the
will and intention of the people of Zimbabwe. Further concern was
expressed regarding the technical language used in drafting the
talking points as this will elude the layman's scope.
notes with great concern the existing gaps within the talking points;
key issues affecting the right to health, environment, and equality
before the law, and humanitarian assistance are not adequately addressed.
The delegates observed that COPAC had not consulted key stakeholders,
including civil society, hence the resultant gaps that have been
identified in the talking points. We therefore call for broader
consultations on the talking points before these are finalised by
raised concerns about the operational environment which is not currently
conductive for the outreach teams to conduct their work. Delegates
were gravely concerned that the majority of our people will not
be able to freely contribute to the drafting of the new constitution
in the existing polarised environment. There is overwhelming evidence
of ongoing systematic harassments and intimidation of civil society
activists whose civic education activities are frequently disrupted
by state agents. We hence call upon the inclusive government to
immediately attend to the legislative agenda to ensure that a conducive
environment, with security of the person being observed as paramount,
hence should be guaranteed for this critical national process; Restrictive
legislation such as the Public
Order and Security Act (POSA) and Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) are the
key statutory instruments being used for stifling freedom of movement,
association and access to information. The people are starved of
crucial information because of the restricted media and the claustrophobic
notes with concern the level of preparedness of COPAC for the outreach
meetings given both the operational background and the logistical
arrangement needed to put together a credible national consultative
process. Thus accordingly we call upon greater transparency on management
of this key process and call for publication of clear dates for
completion of the outreach and next steps.
pointed out that it is imperative to address the issues of concern
regarding the talking points, level of preparedness of COPAC and
the operational environment before embarking on the outreach phase.
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