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  • ZINASU 7th bi-annual congress resolutions
    Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) (Mugwadi)
    January 31, 2010

    "Defining and Entrenching a New Political Culture In Pursuit of the Students Revolution."

    The following resolutions were read by the newly elected ZINASU National President Tafadzwa Twoboy Mugwadi at a ZINASU Press Conference at the Quill Club, New Ambassador Hotel.

    The Zimbabwe National Students Union held its 7th Bi-Annual Congress at the Chinhoyi University of Technology from the 28th-31st of January 2010 under the theme "Defining and Entrenching a New Political Culture in Pursuit of the Students Revolution."

    Congress after deliberations adopted the following resolutions as the anchor to the Program of action of ZINASU till the 8th Bi-Annual Congress in 2012

    1. Accessibility of Education

    Congress acknowledged the challenges faced by students in accessing education due to a deliberate ploy by government to privatize our education. High tuition fees, shortage of teaching personnel and teaching material congress noted of lack of dialogue between the government and the students and other stake holders towards finding common understanding and development of friendly policy positions.

    Congress, therefore:

    1. Condemns the government for lack of sensitivity to the suffering students and urges government to revise its policies taking into consideration the aspirations of the students, and offer free and quality education and make education accessible to all Zimbabweans whether rich or poor.

    2. Urges government to improve working condition and remuneration of both the academic and non academic staff in our tertiary institutions.

    3. Resolves to intensify campaigns in particular NACAPEZ, protests and demonstrations against malignant policies that try to deny the student the right to education.

    4. Calls on the union to continue engaging government the students and all relevant stakeholders in the education sector.

    2. Constitutional Reform

    Congress noted the attempts by the Inclusive government to impose a constitution on the people of Zimbabwe as outlined by Article Six of the Global Political Agreement

    1. Congress therefore

    Castigates the current constitutional reform process being led by the three parties in the GPA, as it is not people driven.

    2. Instructs the inclusive government to cease forthwith the constitutional reform process as outlined in Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement (GPA),

    3.Resolves to intensify campaigns to stop the parliament led constitutional reform process and will actively seek a rejection of any draft constitution produced by the same process through campaigning for a NO vote should that draft be brought to a referendum

    3. HI Virus/Aids

    Congress acknowledged the increase in the spread of the HIV and Sexually Transmitted (STIs) diseases especially amongst students and the youth. Congress also noted the unavailability and inaccessibility of Anti-Retroviral ARVs drugs to those affected.

    Congress attributes these problems due to lack of will on part of government to combat the spread of the disease.

    Congress therefore:

    1. Condemns recklessness and risky sexual behaviour among the students and the youth and urges students to desist and refrain from risky sexual behaviors.

    2. Calls upon the government to provide free Anti-Retroviral drugs, free treatment in our tertiary institutions.

    3. Resolves to intensify AIDS awareness campaigns like the 'Graduate Alive' in all tertiary institutions and communities in the country's provinces.

    4. Broader alliance

    Congress has acknowledged the unhealthy politics within our alliance which comprise the Zimbabwe National Students Unions (ZINASU), National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) manifesting in accusations, counter-accusations, and threats and in some instances violence. Congress noted that the MDC was a brainchild of the tripartite alliance of ZCTU/ZINASU/NCA and that the differences now existing are result of the ideologically bankrupt and with no struggle credentials 'Jonnie come lately' (mafikozolos) who have hijacked the party.

    Congress therefore

    1. Castigates attempts by the mafikizolos to hijack the people's movement

    2. Urges union members to flood the structures of the party and reclaim it from the capitalists who have caused confusion within the alliance.

    5. National Economy

    a. Economic Planning

    Realizing that the transitional government was set up to among other things deal with the bleeding economy,

    Congress resolved that the union should actively participate in economic debates, planning and the struggle for the emancipation and empowerment of the poor. Congress further called government to adopt an inclusive people-centered and people driven policy formulation framework and desist from the current UNDP-World Bank-IMF-Beauracrats approach.

    b. Welfare of the workers (Salaries)

    Noting that Capacity utilization in industries has greatly improved, realizing that the benefits of this recovery are being not trickling down to the last person on the shop floor as the working people in our factories

    Congress resolved that government and employers in the private sector immediately review upwards the salaries of civil servants and workers in the private sector respectively, in line with improvements in the economy

    c. Employment/Job Creation

    Realizing that 95% of potentially employed people are not in jobs, with the majority being young people; further noting government's lack of initiative on developing strategies to create jobs,

    Congress resolved to push vigorously those in authority to respond to this important matter with a view of pushing government to create more jobs particularly for young people. Congress further called for companies to re-engage those workers laid off due to the economic challenges of the past decade.
    d. Corruption

    Congress noted with great concern continued reports of corruption by government officials as well as local authorities, with officials from the two main parties in government implicated. Having condemned this vile practice, congress resolved to actively campaign for the bringing to book of all corrupt elements within and outside the government notwithstanding their political affiliation. The Chiadzwa diamond crisis was also debated and congress resolved to lobby government to investigate the scandals so that those found guilty of any underhand and corrupt dealings must be punished accordingly.

    e. National Debt

    Noting that Zimbabwe is suffocating under a debt amounting to over US$5 Billion the people know nothing of,

    Congress called for greater cooperation with progressive movements calling for a debt audit and the repudiation of the odious debt.

    6. Land Reform

    Noting the chaotic and violent land invasion in the year 2000 under the guise of the 'land reform' by the then ZANU PF government through the war veterans, ZANU PF youth, women and state officials,

    Congress, having condemned in the strongest of terms, the irresponsible approach taken by the then government and the subsequent human rights violations committed against the farmers, farm workers others who perished during the invasions, resolved

    Congress therefore resolved that a genuine and meaningful land reform and redistribution exercise has to be undertaken at some particular time in this country but first sanity has to be restored. Congress therefore calls on the inclusive government to seriously look into the events of early 2000 to today as a new wave of farm invasions continue to haunt the farming community despite the consummation of the inclusive government, as a trajectory towards the restoration of sanity in the agrarian sector.

    Congress in this vein calls on the government of the day to refrain from the routine talk by the state officials that the land audit will address the crisis in the agrarian sphere, the situation on the ground depicts otherwise. Equally the land audit in itself is not enough if it is not redistributive in nature as a way of addressing the problem of multiple farm ownership by most ZANU PF officials. Lastly a genuine land audit should seek to compensate the former commercial farmers for the developments they made on the land and bring justice to those who committed grievous human rights violations against farmers and farm workers.

    Congress noted that this eventually will help resuscitate our agricultural productivity if the redistributive audit of land is empowered by skills development and deployment to bring an end to the 'Cellphone farmers' syndrome.

    7. Transitional justice

    Having interrogated the challenges associated with the transition in Zimbabwe, Congress resolved that, contrary to the ongoing so called national healing process by the GPA parties, there is need of a serious and genuine people driven national healing process that heals both the victims and the violators of the political violence. In this regard the congress resolved that all the perpetrators of politically motivated violence should be brought to book and justice prevail so that no such actions would be reported again.

    Congress resolved that property that was taken from the victims of politically motivated violence of June 27 2008 is restored to the rightful owners while compensation for some other loses should be given adequate considerations. Congress further resolved that the attempts to have a blanket amnesty of all the violators of human rights through the national healing process anchored by the GPA parties must and should be resisted and tat the MDC should resist that as a deterrent measure to avoid the same episode from happening. Thus Congress emphasized that reconciliation and forgiveness must not be allowed to form the basis of the transitional justice programme but a clear call for truth and justice.

    8. Political Transition

    The congress resolved that while we can not deny that we are in a political transition, it is prudent enough for the civil society forces to remain vigilant and steadfast on principles that have helped shape the people struggle for democratic transformation in Zimbabwe and that the students should remain the watchdog that should be prepared to bite anyone who compromises the revolutionary principles for personal expediencies. Congress therefore tasked the NEC to play a vanguard role and resist the temptation to sellout for individual aggrandizement. Congress also tasked the NEC to fight for the spearheading of meaningful democratic reforms that include legislative reforms, media reforms, electoral reforms, human rights laws, and in particular the repeal of POSA and AIPPA which have hampered the efforts to build a robust students movement.

    9. Constitutional Reform

    Realizing that the process outlined in Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement is neither people-driven nor democratic. It is a process determined, controlled and driving by the politicians. More disturbing, they want to pretend that it is people-driven and will work with the civic society at sub-committee level, while it is clear that is what we can call parliament-driven process. Politicians must not decide for us the making of a new constitution

    Congress has therefore resolved to reaffirm our long-held view that a constitution should be written genuinely by the people, through a people-driven and democratic process. Given the nature and character of the current flawed process, the Zimbabwe National Students Union, our colleagues in the trade union movement, ZCTU and the National Constitutional Assembly have denounced the process as falling short of the standards set at the Working People's Convention of 1999, the 1st and 2nd Constitutional Convention as well as the Zimbabwe People's Charter adopted on the 9th of February 2008.

    It is in this regard that at the 2nd people's constitutional convention we resolved that if the inclusive government and or parliament do not heed our call to cease forthwith the constitutional reform process as outlined in Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), we will actively seek a rejection of any draft constitution produced by the same process through campaigning for a NO vote should that draft be brought to a referendum.

    To achieve that congress resolved we are going to go to the ground and intensify the people's community meetings and grassroots mobilization for a genuine people driven constitution.

    10. Gender

    Having noted the role that women can play in political, social, economic, environmental and technological transformation of our society.

    Congress has therefore resolved to intensify fighting and lobbying for the respect of gender equality through observance and commemoration of international, regional and local days set aside for these aspects such as the 16 days of activism against gender based violence, day of the African child etc. and some other initiative aimed at mainstreaming gender issues.

    11. HI Virus/Aids and sexual reproductive health

    Alive to the fact that one of the biggest challenges affecting mankind today is the HIV/Aids pandemic. Our economies, our societies, our families, our livelihoods are being threatened by this monstrous disease.

    Congress has resolved to strengthen the graduate alive campaign in partnership with other organisations involved in HIV/Aids work as well s artists. Congress also resolved the opening up of space among young people to share ideas about the pandemic.

    12. Climate change

    The Congress noted with great concern that climate change poses significant threats to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in particular those related to eradicating poverty and hunger and promoting environmental sustainability.

    Congress therefore resolved to urge the government of Zimbabwe and other developing countries to initiate policies that are environment friendly. Congress also resolved that pressure be put on all developed countries in particular the USA to reduce carbon emissions.

    13. International works

    Alive to the fact that the Southern Africa Students Union remains dormant yet it is a pivotal tool in the building of a regional students' movement. Congress resolved that ZINASU must play an active role in the resuscitation of SASU. Congress also called for cooperation from other unions within the region as a way of resuscitation of SASU. The congress also debated the AASU issue and resolved to give the DSG Cde Karim the mandate to convene the long-over-due AASU congress

    Congress also called for the restoration of legitimacy and civilian rule in the troubled African nation of Guinea. Congress saw it prudent to support the probe led by the UN and AU in finding out perpetrators of the 2009 mass massacre by the junta.

    14. Rebels

    Aware of the current perceived split orchestrated by the Mafume-Tsunga financially muscled alliance and some donor organisations employees.

    Cognizant of the chaos and confusion this has created in the general student body.

    Congress resolved:

    1. ZINASU condemns in the strongest of terms this deliberate ploy by the two former national executive members who led the rebellion and went on to form a splinter group thus bringing the image of the student union into disrepute.

    2. Urge all students to remain resolute and defend the movement and distance themselves from this charade.

    3. The movement must intensify the recruitment and building of a cadre of the movement who will resist the temptation to sell out for selfish gains at the expense of the movement.

    4. The NEC was mandated to form an agent disciplinary tribunal to come up with ways of dealing with the rebellion.

    5. NEC must ensure that ZINASU wins all SRC elections in tertiary institutions to put to rest the perception that there are now two ZINASUs.

    15. Organizational Constitutional Amendments

    NOTING the general thrust of the constitutional Amendments proposed in both the Political report of the President on behalf of the National Executive Committee, and the Organizational Report by the Secretary General on behalf of the National Executive Committee.

    AGREEING with the Amendments as they seek to change the nature and character of ZINASU to enable ZINASU to live up to the political demands of our time and generation,

    AWARE of the ever changing political terrain in the country which requires students to be vigilant and prepared to defend their rights

    APPRECIATING the complexity of effecting amendments to the Constitution to be able to structure ZINASU to meet the socio-political demands of our generation

    Congress hereby resolves

    1. The constitutional amendments proposed are agreed.

    2. The National Executive Committee must set up a committee headed by the Deputy Secretary General with the Secretary for Legal Affairs as the secretary, with legal expertise to put final touch ups to the amendments.

    3. The committee so set should not depart from the general understanding which congress is convinced of.

    4. The Deputy Secretary General and the Secretary for Legal Affairs must, in a written report advice the National Working Committee whether or not the Constitution resultant from the touch ups referred to in 2 are still in tandem with the view of congress.

    5. Only after the Deputy Secretary General has approved the text resultant after the tough ups, the final text must be submitted to the National Executive Committee sitting as a Congress to approve the text as being in full tandem with the views of this congress. This must be done within two months of congress seating to allow Provincial congresses to take place immediately thereafter.

    16. Ideological Standing
    Owing to the confusion on ideological standpoint of the Movement pre-congress, congress deliberated and resolved that: ZINASU is a leftist- socialist organisation striving for a socialist Zimbabwe. In pursuit of this cause, the union shall actively intensify the process of deepening ideological consciousness among its broader constituency. Zinasu therefore makes use of the Marxist-Leninism as tools of analysis.

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