via Civic society threatens winter of discontent 24 June 2014
A CIVIC society group has demanded that the government realign the country’s laws with the new constitution or face fresh protests on the streets.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Coordinator, Joy Mabenge, told NewZimbabwe.com in an interview Monday that the civic group is not happy with the manner in which the country was being governed.
The group, which has in the past spearheaded street protests against President Robert Mugabe’s government, warned it might soon return to the streets to demand changes in the way the country is being run.
“For us as Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, we have always had the responsibility of convening civic society to be able to get an in-depth understanding and analysis of critical issues to set the agenda for the nation,” Mabenge said.
“We have not done that for a couple of months because of obvious challenges facing the nation but we have now come back. We have started setting the agenda on the realignment of the laws with the new constitution.”
Zimbabwe, last year, adopted a new constitution but very little progress has been made in realigning the laws with the new charter.
Civic groups say there are at least 400 laws which need to be realigned with the new constitution which was approved overwhelmingly in a referendum in March last year.
The new constitution clips the powers of the president and imposes two-term limits the head of state.
There was hope that the constitution would set Zimbabwe on a new path after a decade of political strife between supporters of Mugabe and those of opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
But a year after the charter was signed into law, there has been very little done to realign the country’s laws with the new charter, according to Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.
Mabenge said they would engage the government to address this anomaly. The group also wants the government to address policy inconsistencies that have scared away potential investors.
“We are also going to conduct meetings on the state of the constitution. It is about creating a platform where stakeholders and policy makers meet and debate on serious issues that concern Zimbabweans,” Mabenge said.
“It is also about assisting us as civic society through well thought-out processes to be able to craft positions that we will put on the table.
“We have lined up hard core political issues such as the land question, job creation, empowerment act and the succession issue so that the country sails on a path of a true democratic transition.”
Mabenge said they would also meet to take a position on the sanctions that were imposed on Mugabe and his close associates in 2002 for allegedly stealing elections and violating human rights.
“We have not yet reached a decision on that issue. In fact this is one of the reasons why we are having these political meetings. We need to come up with well thought out answers from our constituencies,” said Mabenge.