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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Lower Gweru villagers struggling with taxes
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    August 04, 2011

    Crisis in Zimbabwe convened civil society briefing meeting in Gweru and Kwekwe on 28 July 2011 which saw an attendance of 88 and 74 people respectively. The meetings were meant to give the civic organization an update on the constitution making process and other key political processes that include the election road map and the elections. Citizens of the two cities demand that:

    • Uniformed forces should not be political
    • Police should care for the people and not politicians
    • President should rule for a maximum of two terms of five years each
    • Rights of the disabled should be enshrined in the constitution
    • Education for the disabled should be a responsibility of government
    • Land should be distributed on non partisan basis including stands in urban areas
    • Rights of those living with HIV and AIDS should be protected in the constitution
    • Age of retirement should be low and welfare after retirement of old people should be a responsibility of government
    • Electoral commission must be independent without influence of political parties
    • Pregnant women should receive free health care
    • People should be able to campaign in a free and fair environment
    • Constitution must allow equal distribution of natural resources including the diamonds in Marange
    • No political party should train youth militia groups
    • Government should provide employment opportunities for young people
    • The civil society in Gweru and Kwekwe expressed their concern over the continued squabbling amongst political parties, which has often derailed the constitution making process
    • The civil society in Gweru also dismissed the hearings on the human rights commission as a sham since they did not entertain contributions on the Gukurahundi massacres.

    The coalition also convened a community meeting in Lower Gweru at Mdubiwa Secondary School on the 28th July 2011. The meeting was attended by 246 participants, 138 males and 106 females including Chief Mdubiwa and several headmen. The purpose of the meeting was to give feedback on the constitution making process. The meeting was addressed Mr. Pedzisayi Ruhanya, The Coalition's Programs Manager and Mr. Sethi Ncube from the Gweru Agenda. Mr. Ruhanya and Mr, Ncube updated the participants on the progress made so far regarding the constitution making process and noted that the process had passed the thematic stage and that information gathered during the outreach process will soon be grafted, thereafter ratified by the parliament to finally come up with a referendum. Mr. Ncube encouraged the participants at the meeting register as voters so that they can participate in the referendum and the election.

    Villagers also highlighted that they are finding it difficult to raise $3 needed by the chiefs as tax for their houses and $1 per beast for cattle. They also narrated their ordeal on how they often hav to pay taxes in kind in a situation that finds them parting with their livestock to cover the taxes. This had had a negative impact that reminds them of the hut tax they once struggled to pay during the colonial era.

    Participants demanded:

    • An end to political violence and the fostering of peace
    • Free and fair elections
    • That chiefs should be non-partisan in exercising their duties

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