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October 18, 2011
13 and Saturday 15 October, Bulawayo Agenda held its 4th edition
of the Annual Ideas Festival, which is a platform, hosted by the
organisation for civil society and citizens to interact, share ideas
and learn from one another. This year's event, with the theme,
'reclaiming our citizen space', was characterised by
a hive of activity from the discussion forums, democracy fair and
many other festivities. The sector discussion forums tackled four
broad themes; national
healing and transitional justice, constitution
making process, elections and security sector reform while the
public lecture focused on the transitional justice lessons from
the SADC region and beyond.
Scores of people
attended the public lecture that was organised as part of the ideas
festival activities. The speakers, Lloyd Kuveya, a Zimbabwean based
in South Africa with Southern Africa Litigation Centre and John
Ngaii Gikonyo an advocate from Kenya lived up to the task. The theme
of discussion was "National healing and transitional justice:
lessons from other African countries". Lloyd Kuveya spoke
strongly on the abuse of minority groups saying the most stable
societies are built by how nations protect their minorities, which
is not the case with Zimbabwe. Gikonyo unpacked the transitional
process and told experiences from Kenya. Participants were interested
in knowing when the transition process starts. The overall outcome
of the lecture and or discussions was that devolution of power in
Zimbabwe will serve as a key tool for transitional justice. Devolution
of power, constitutionalisation of local government, empowerment
of local authorities and decentralisation have been some of the
ways in which Zimbabweans have expressed their intentions to reclaim
their role in policy formulation and general development in their
In these forums,
various speakers drawn from Government, civil society, political
parties and other stakeholders presented on the four themes of Security
sector reform, Constitution making process and elections. Participants
from Bulawayo Agenda's chapters across the country, from the
local suburbs i.e. Entumbane, Nkulumane, Luveve and Makokoba discussed
and made various observations, recommendations and suggestions on
the key national issues to various stakeholders;
- ZRP should
apply the law objectively and in a non-selective manner.
the Minister of Defence to instruct the army to stop dabbling
for the amendments of Defence Act to stop generals from making
- Police Act
should be reviewed to deter police from being partisan and using
force against members of the public.
details harboring political ambitions should resign from the army
in order to minimize state-sponsored violence.
personnel who have been involved in violence should be forced
to resign (lustration) from public office.
healing and Transitional Justice
should take the lead in devising home grown mechanisms on national
healing rather than waiting for government to lead. (Community-led
and victim-centered process)
- CSOs should
not wait for government all the time but also initiate national
- CSOs programming
should balance focus on both rural and urban populace
- All partners
in the inclusive government should own up to national healing
and speak to key issues in public pronouncements.
said that local governance in Zimbabwe is vulnerable and overly
dependent on central government.
in the inclusive government should be sincere about efforts to
achieve a new constitution that reflects the people's will
especially on constitutionalisation of local governance.
pieces of legislation like POSA
should be repealed as a matter of urgency as they prohibit women
from meaningfully participating in critical national discourses
because of fear.
Act should ensure a free and fair election in Zimbabwe; should
clearly cater for management of the smooth transfer of power.
would like to thank all stakeholders and partners for attending
and supporting to the success of the 4th edition of the Ideas Festival.
Just like the other three editions of the Festival, participants
discussed issues that affect their being and these shall be taken
up by the organisation and the broader civil society.
Visit the Bulawayo
Agenda fact sheet
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