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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Constitutional Amendment 18 of 2007 - Index of articles, opinion and anaylsis
  • SADC mediated talks between ZANU (PF) and MDC - Index of articles

  • Position on Constitutional Amendment Number 18 and the SADC talks
    September 29, 2007

    Visit the special index of articles, analysis and opinion on Constitutional Amendment 18

    MISA-Zimbabwe takes note of recent changes made to the Zimbabwe constitution by the two main political parties in Zimbabwe. MISA-Zimbabwe also takes note of the SADC initiated talks between the MDC and ZANU PF. We believe that if these talks are held with sincerity and participation by all interests groups, Zimbabwe's many challenges might be resolved.

    MISA-Zimbabwe expresses concern that the recent changes to the Zimbabwe constitution have been prematurely celebrated as marking a new era in the fortunes of Zimbabwe. We, therefore, question and caution that the Zimbabwe crisis cannot be reduced to a constitutional debate. And neither will the recent constitutional changes solve the fundamental problems affecting Zimbabwe. More still need to be done to change a political culture, characterised by serious repression as a result of bad laws, violence, fear and intimidation. We remind ZANU PF and the MDC that the challenges Zimbabwe face are multifaceted and cannot be resolved by the two parties alone, more so in secrecy. All organised groups, religious bodies, business and political parties have an interest in the present circumstances and future of Zimbabwe. It is in this regard that mechanisms have to be found for all players to be involved in the constitutional reform process as well as contribute to any process in which the future of Zimbabwe is under discussion. For this reason, we remind ZANU PF and the MDC that any future processes on issues of the constitution should be all encompassing and also that the crisis of governance we face should be addressed more broadly beyond constitutional reforms.

    MISA-Zimbabwe further cautions colleagues in civil society not to take absolute positions that might be detrimental to an amicable settlement to the Zimbabwe crisis. The SADC initiative, flawed as it is, presents a starting point to pressurise politicians for inclusiveness and a broad discussion on the challenges facing Zimbabwe. As MISA-Zimbabwe we believe that repressive laws including AIPPA, POSA, Broadcasting law, Interception of Communications Act among many others should be repealed and the rights of the media and free expression guaranteed constitutionally. We remind colleagues that apart from bad laws Zimbabweans needs to relook at their political culture and value systems. As MISA-Zimbabwe we take note that the bombings that the Daily News suffered were a heinous criminal act that cannot be explained in constitutional terms, but in terms of a political culture of impunity, hatred and inculcating fear. For this reason we urge that we look at the challenges we face more broadly. Civil society has an obligation to remain true to the principles that we stand for. But at the same time we should reflect on our actions and positions so that we do not miss opportunities to be part of a solution to the Zimbabwe crisis.

    Long live Zimbabwe!

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