THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

Civil society resolutions on the 2008 polls
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
July 02, 2007

" . . . but I think Black Consciousness has in fact not quite completed its task. So called black-on-black violence would not have occurred had we said that we respect one another and would not have permit anyone, for what ever reason and what ever reward to manipulate us or inveigle us into slaughtering one another . . . we would have said that each of us is too precious to become a pawn in a bloody game."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2006)

It is the duty of every man and woman of moral dignity to defy unjust laws such as Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and undemocratic laws governing the conduct of elections in Zimbabwe. Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition held a meeting on the 27th of June 2007 in Masvingo to solicit the position of civil society on the forthcoming elections and the political environment within which the elections will be held. The Mbeki mediation initiative propounded by the SADC heads of state was also put under the microscope. The meeting also deliberated on the Constitutional Amendment Number 18 which has recently tabled in parliament.

The delegates present were from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU); ZIMRIGHTS, Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), General Agricultural Plantation Workers Union Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ); National Constitutional Assembly (NCA); Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP); Zimbabwe National Liberators' Platform (ZNLP); Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU); The Informal Traders Association and the media.

The meeting made the following resolutions:

  • To intensify mass mobilisation and support current efforts by the Save Zimbabwe Campaign
  • To hold civic education campaigns in the high density suburbs and rural areas to reach out to the so-called 'no go areas'
  • Mobilizing for the boycott of city council charges on refuse collection, rentals, water charges in cities being run by hand picked
  • The civil society must not pin all its hopes on the talks but rather should work on the alternatives should the talks collapse.

Registrar General, a syndicate in ZANU PF rigging ploy!

The Civil Society in Masvingo revealed that the office of the Registrar General is working in cahoots with the ruling party to frustrate citizens under the age of 40 from acquiring National Identity (ID) cards. An ID is a prerequisite for one to be regarded as an eligible voter. ZIMRIGHTS briefed the meeting that in the areas which they were conducting civic education such as Chivi, Chiredzi and Mwenezi people under the age of 40 were told that they can only acquire national identity documents from Harare.

The Civil Society also expressed grave concern over the way in which the registrar general is suppressing information on voter education. In the city of Masvingo, unlike in the previous elections, there has been no allocation of mobile registration services. The public media is not disseminating the voter education information adequately in the province.

The same fraudulent process seems to be replicating itself in the rural areas as those below the age of 40 are being misled that the current process is targeting the elderly, which will be followed by a second phase targeting those below 40.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Organizing Secretary for the Women's league, Lucia Matibenga confirmed that they have been receiving first hand information on such practices. Reports also came from Zaka East and West and Bikita, where the MDC had a torrid moment with chiefs and headmen in their bid to access the areas.

Crisis Coalition hold that the acts of the state are in violation of the citizenry's rights as out lined in the African Union Charter for Human and People's Rights article 13 which states that;

1. Every citizen shall have the right to participate freely in the government of his country, either directly or through freely chosen representative in accordance with the provisions of the law.

2. Every individual shall have equal access to public property service in the country

3. Every individual shall have the right of access to public property and services in strict equality of all persons before the law

We humbly hold the view that the government is not adhering to such regional instruments which it signed and is obliged to uphold. Voter education services are a public service which must be enjoyed by every citizen irrespective of age, religion, creed or political affiliation.

Masvingo Public Meeting

On Thursday 28 June 2007, the Coalition held a public meeting at the Civic Center in Masvingo. The meeting was held under the theme, Free and Fair Elections 2008: Is there enough political will? Three hundred and six (306) people attended the meeting. The topic was tackled by panelists who include, Mr Muzenda the Masvingo provincial chairperson for National Constitutional Assembly (NCA); Mr Takavafira Zhou, President of the Progressive Teacher's Union Zimbabwe (PTUZ); Mr Chakabuda, Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform (ZLP); Mr Tavengahama, Information Officer , the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade (ZCTU); Witlow Chigwiji, the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU). The meeting was chaired by Ms Lucia Masekesa.

The panelists bemoaned that the political environment in the country is not conducive to hold free and fair elections. They noted that the electoral field is not level since the institutions which are mandated to conduct the elections are not independent from the political players. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is under the whims of the Executive, which is an interested party in the whole process.

The civic movement maintained that they will mobilize for a boycott of the elections if the government fails to give in to the demands of a new constitutional dispensation. The organizations argued that elections can wait till an all inclusive and democratic constitution is in place.

The new constitution will define a new set of electoral guidelines which are in line with the SADC protocols and principles governing the conduct of democratic and free elections. The environment was defined as being characterized by the militarization of State institutions, the wide spread use of violence through infrastructural organs such as the youth militia, repressive legislation such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), Public Order and Security Act (POSA), the recently gazetted Interception to Communications Bill among others. The Executive continues to overlap into the functions of the other two arms of the state namely, the judiciary and the legislature which has eroded the impartiality of these institutions.

Visit the Crisis in Zimbabwe fact sheet

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.