New Constitution Must Bring About Reform

RECOGNISING that the Lancaster House constitution can no longer serve the people of Zimbabwe and its future generations justly, truthfully and transparently we however reject the mysterious and exclusively drafted Kariba draft constitution as a basis for drafting the new constitution.


We are cognisant of the fact that the youth have been greatly affected by the crises in Zimbabwe which cannot be resolved through the current constitution and we also acknowledge that the election of the next government should be based upon the dictates of a new and people-driven constitution.
There is a need therefore to set a new political precedent that respects electoral democracy as an important aspect of political transition.

 

We deplore the continuous marginalisation of young people in the economic, social and political agenda as shown by their lack of clear representation in the current processes,
Years of bad governance, human rights abuse, discrimination, alienation, under-development, marginalisation, intimidation and political violence cannot silence us nor can they stop us from shaping our future and that of our children by fully participating in the current constitution-making process as this is the only way to bring about a new and genuine democratic dispensation in our country.
 As a way of making our voice heard distinctly and our concerns addressed accordingly in the future, we demand that the new constitution should include the following:

  • The devolution of powers from central government to provinces to allow us and future generations to develop our provinces in line with the needs of our people;
  • Recognise minority groups and languages within the provinces they are situated in through the provision of laws that preserve their way of life and culture;
  • Allow for easy access to national documents like IDs, and passports among others;
  • The reduction of the president’s term from the current unlimited number of terms in office to a maximum of two five year terms in order to allow younger and fresher minds the room and opportunity to serve their country and people.

We also call for the opening of the media space to other players so as to:

 

 

  • The devolution of powers from central government to provinces to allow us and future generations to develop our provinces in line with the needs of our people;
  • Recognise minority groups and languages within the provinces they are situated in through the provision of laws that preserve their way of life and culture;
  • Allow for easy access to national documents like IDs, and passports among others;
  • The reduction of the president’s term from the current unlimited number of terms in office to a maximum of two five year terms in order to allow younger and fresher minds the room and opportunity to serve their country and people.

We also call for the opening of the media space to other players so as to:

  • Rid the country of the current polarisation in the media that has seen the public media being used as a propaganda tool by Zanu PF-aligned government officials and the private media being mostly aligned to (former) opposition political party officials;
  • Ensure a better informed and more participative citizenry.

  Recognition of minority groups, languages/cultures for the purposes of:

  • Nurturing the co-existence of different social groups in our society as well as encouraging celebration of diversity of cultures and people in our society;
  • Reflecting our diversity in which the strength of our peoples’ humanity, kindness, warmth, and traditions lie.

Reform of electoral laws to ensure:

  • That all registered Zimbabwean citizens especially youths get the opportunity to vote and that their votes count;
  • The electorate hears the result of their votes within a reasonable enough time frame;
  • Querying political parties have the opportunity to be heard by the courts who will fairly adjudicate these matters to the satisfaction of the involved parties and the electorate;
  • That no intimidation and violence is tolerated before or during the voting period and at voting stations.

Reduction in the size of government with a view to:

  • Reducing government expenditure and ensuring easy monitoring of the dealings of cabinet and other arms of government.

It is our hope that if these are met, our constituency will be well on its way to finding the kind of representation and protection by the supreme law that they seek.

Bulawayo Youth Council.