Citizens Intensify Calls For International Community Mediation
Zimbabweans under the Citizens Manifesto banner will later this month host the 2nd National Citizens’ Convention, a convergence platform of civic society organisation in an effort to map a sustainable path out of Zimbabwe’s acute socioeconomic and political crisis.
The Convention will draw participants from civic organizations, social movements, labour, youth, women, community groups, business, faith-based organizations, representatives from the international community and the Diaspora.
Zimbabwe is currently undergoing a serious economic meltdown which has also escalated to a humanitarian crisis as can be seen by the gross violation of rights of civilians, especially those from the opposition.
It also comes at a time when the main opposition, the Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) has upped its ante and pushing for SADC and African Union (AU) to intervene in what they have termed a political crisis emanating from a disputed election.
In a statement, Citizen’s Manifesto said the convention platform for citizens to critically and objectively reflect and collectively come up with actionable solutions to the country’s problems.
“Convention participants will come up with a plan of action to be adopted by participating organizations in their advocacy for a just, democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe.
“Key issues and questions to be addressed at the convention include: how to build a sustainable economy that works for all, the quest real participatory democracy and the road map for achieving social cohesion,” said the organisation.
This comes as the country continues to witness a deplorable human rights situation which has seen some CSO leaders allegedly being abducted and tortured by suspected state agents’ in a crackdown meant to silence them from airing out their grievances as the President Emmerson Mnangagwa administration continues in its attempt to deliver its electoral promises to the highly expectant nation.
“There will be deliberation on national healing and reconciliation, the state of social service delivery, the need for reforms that place Citizens’ rights at the centre of governance as well as guarantee free, fair, credible elections and other pertinent human rights issues,” the CSO added.
Last year’s event was graced by luminaries from The Elders including the late former Secretary-General of the United Nations, the late Kofi Annan and Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland.
During last year’s Convention Citizens’ made a request to The Elders to consider playing a role in mediating across the political divide to come up with an agreed framework for political dialogue and today reiterate the same call with greater urgency given the deepening national crisis.