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Ideas Festival update
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
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.
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.
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.
of Ideas Public Debates
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.
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.
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
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
Visit the Bulawayo
Agenda fact sheet
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