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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Post Referendum statement
    MDC Harare Youth Assembly
    March 21, 2013

    The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Harare Youth Assembly congratulates Zimbabweans for overwhelmingly endorsing the new supreme law of the country in the just ended referendum, this was despite the lack of information on the draft and the suspicious composition of ZEC. The new supreme law is a progressive step towards a democratic dispensation which can catalyse development of our great country.

    The Youth assembly however implores legislators both from our party and other progressive formations to apply due diligence and vigilantes in the process of realigning the laws of the country to suit the new supreme law. We are aware of the ZANU PF antics of trying to cunningly smuggle repressive legislative acts that will stop Zimbabwe from progressing into a fully fledged democracy. We therefore urge our fellow cdes to be on the lookout and warn ZANU PF to refrain from such deplorable tactics as they will be rejected by Zimbabweans who are now hungry for a democratic dispensation.

    The recent assault of our activist, Brian Musarurwa in Chikomba East and the intimidation of Obert Masaraure, a Member of Parliament hopefull for Chikomba during a campaign meeting, the arrest of human rights activists Jestina Mukoko and Beatrice Mtetwa amongst others are a clear reflection that ZANU PF is neither repentant of its old ways nor willing to embrace the dawning democratic order. The Assembly entreat the youth of this country to desist from violent conduct in the forthcoming elections and campaign peacefully for progressive parties. We further beseech the Police service to show impartiality when handling cases of political violence because your actions are under scrutiny and you will be answerable in the beckoning new order. JOMIC should also escalate its activities to foster a culture of tolerance within our society. We however, urge Zimbabweans to remain steadfast in our more than a decade old struggle for a democratic society.

    Zimbabweans should continuously mobilise each other to register as voters and go on to participate in the watershed harmonised elections earmarked for later this year and ensure the victory of a principled party the MDC. We are however irked by the slow implementation of critical reforms which will guarantee a free and fair election. We demand the urgent reform of the security sector which is currently being misdirected and misled by the unprofessional and incompetent trio of Chiwenga, Chihuri and Bonyongwe. We urge President Professor Welshman Ncube to reign on the other partners in Global Agreement to expedite the reform of this key sector.

    The Media Reform process has been riddled with potholes deliberately created by the chief Media hangmen, Tafataona Mahoso and George Charamba. In separate interviews before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Media last year, Charamba promised that AIPPA would be repealed after the conclusion of constitutional reform and Mahoso promised to license independent broadcasters in 2013. To that effect Mahoso and his Broadcasting Authority in Zimbabwe (BAZ) only issued two controversial licences, one to Zimpapers sister broadcaster Star Fm and another to ZANU PF activist (Supa Mandiwanzira) owned ZiFM. The licensing was marred with controversy and all the principals have ordered the media phobic Mahoso to license other players in more transparent manner with President Ncube standing tall in this respect.

    It is our resolve as an Assembly that some repressive acts pertaining to the media should now be scrapped as they infringe on fundamental freedoms captured in the new law thus making them unconstitutional. Such acts include Official Secrecy Act, Interception of Communication Act (ICT), Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act. Even more worrying as been the setting up of the Interception of Communications Unit (ICU) just outside Harare by the Military Intelligence which is meant to monitor social media platforms like twitter and facebook. The Zimbabwe Media Commission should now be entrusted with the overall responsibility of spearheading the self-regulation of the media and all forms of licensing media players should be scrapped in line with the Banjul declaration and which as a party will immediately adhere to after winning the next election later this year .

    To date only print media which fall under the armpits of ZMC has seen new players being licensed. We know print media is what Dr Wallace Chuma a South Africa based Lecturer once described as a “ dying medium” in his critic on media reform in Zimbabwe. The newspapers are read by less than a tenths of the Zimbabwean population as the majority can’t afford to buy them . Our constitution reform was characterised with lack of information to the general public because of an over reliance on print media. The assembly demands the immediate full reform of the media before the elections so that the electorate can vote wisely after accessing manifestos of different political parties and political players. The African societies have a long history of relying on oral tradition which makes it imperative for more broadcasters to be licensed so that information can be communicated effectively in our country.

    Although the new electoral act 2 of 2012 gives Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) independence and also usher critical electoral reforms, the appointment of dubious partisan characters in the mould of Justice Makarau and Kazembe in the commission is an affront to democracy and their appointment process does not satisfy the constitutional provisions for appointment of commissioners in new supreme law and should therefore be reviewed and revoked. Z.E.C secretariat is still composed of the same partisan lot that presided over fraudulent elections in 2008. The vote of Zimbabweans won’t be safe in the hands of this secretariat since the bulky of the staff are from the partisan Central Intelligence outfit. Given the complacence of other Principals to address the issue we urge President Ncube to push for these critical reforms before the next election to avoid a repeat of June 2008.

    Lastly the adoption of the new constitution should now be succeeded with rationale voting process where the general public should critically analyse the calibre of leaders who intend to assume office before entrusting the nation to them. In Mugabe, Zimbabwe is presented with an old president who have exhausted all his governing tactics in the past 33 years of disappointment and still promise to run down our economy by his destructive policies. The MDC on the other hand presents Zimbabwe with a credible, duty conscious , democratic and shrewd tactician in the mould of Prof Welshman Ncube who can steer Zimbabwe out of stagnation to prosperity. A vote for Prof Ncube is a vote for a prosperous green Zimbabwe that will be achieved by our A.C.T.I.O.N.S economic blue print.

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