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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • 2012 Ideas Festival update
    Bulawayo Agenda

    November 01, 2012

    From the 25th to the 27th o of October various 37 Civil society organisations from across the country convened in Bulawayo to participate in this year's Ideas Festival under the theme "Engaging Zimbabweans for a better Zimbabwe" at the same time joining Bulawayo Agenda in the celebration of its 10 years of providing a platform for citizens to debate.

    Democracy Fair

    32 Civil Society Organisations told their stories through exhibition at the Democracy Fair, networking and interacting with each other and an average of 800 members of the public in the two days, on the 26th and 27th of October at the City Hall car Park. On the sidelines was the Youth Indaba, the Women's Conference as well as a series of "Battle of Ideas" Public Debates carried out around the city.


    Three conferences: Youth Political Participation Indaba attended by 112 (one hundred and twelve) participants (66 males and 46 females), Women's Conference on Constitution and Elections attended by 133 women and 3 men, Civil Society Leadership Conference attended by 120 (68 males 52 females) were held. These activities were also graced by various political party representatives from ZANU PF, MDC, MDC-T, ZAPU and PUMA, government officials, Academics and traditionally marginalised groups such women and Youths, and representatives from rural communities. The outcomes of the Youth and Women platforms were subjected to debate at the Civil Society Leadership Conference.

    The conferences were meant to deliberate the implications of the outcome of the COPAC 2nd Stakeholders Conference and the general contextual issues vis a vis effective citizen participation currently and prospectively in key national processes. The CSO conference saw a number of strategies, positions and resolutions being reached on the constitution making process and preparation for the referendum and elections. Civil Society leaders spoke of the need for coordinated CSOs engagement with the SADC/AU mediation process, push for economic reforms so as to ensure that the civil and political rights message fused with the socio-economic realities among other outcomes.

    Battle of Ideas Public Debates

    A cumulative total of more than 650 people participated in three public debates which discussed the constitution and elections taking to account the outcomes of the 2nd All-stakeholders Conference and preparation for elections, national healing and peace-building ahead of the referendum and elections and the water crisis in Bulawayo and prospects for solutions. The highest attendance was recorded in the Water Crisis meeting while the one on National Healing recorded the lowest number as it had a fluid audience at the Democracy Fair.

    Theatre that Matters

    Members of the public were also treated to "Theatre that matters" performances, where Victory Siyanqoba play- 'Drafting of a new constitution' and Flame of Jahunda play: 'The Inmate' were watched by more than 300 spectators. The first one was on the contents of the draft constitution and the other a socio-economic commentary on corruption and inconsistent application of the law.

    Anniversary Celebrations

    The morning of Thursday the 25th might have been like any other day to unassuming passers-by at the City Hall Car Park; to Bulawayo Agenda, the more than 1000 civic activists and drum-majorettes who were waiting to march and celebrate Bulawayo Agenda's 10th anniversary. 094500hrs and 1030hrs thereabout marked the repeated rhythm of feet of the old, the young stamping to Letta Mbulu's 'Not yet Uhuru' song and all energetically commemorating Bulawayo Agenda's 10 years of existence.

    From the City hall, the procession (without police escort) marched along Leopold Takawira Avenue, turned into Main Street and turned into 10th Avenue, Fife Street, 9th Avenue, Jason Moyo and then into the blocked 8th Avenue in front of Pioneer House, where Bulawayo Agenda is housed. At the main venue, speeches from different stakeholders that include political parties like ZANU-PF, MDC formations and CSOs gave their solidarity messages.

    On the occasion of its 10th Anniversary Celebrations, Bulawayo Agenda also honored various organisations and individuals who over the years, contributed to the development of Matabeleland and Zimbabwe and also tirelessly fought the struggle for democracy. These included Arnold Payne a water campaigner, Women Institute for Leadership Development (WILD), Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) a leading street-level advocacy group, NdabezinhleSigogo a prolific author, Welshman Mabhena, and Chief Khayisa Ndiweni among others.

    Visit the Bulawayo Agenda fact sheet

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