CSOs converge to confront govt

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association spokesperson, Douglas Mahiya has called for unity of purpose among citizens if the country is to realise any political, social or economic development. By Sofia Mapuranga

Source: CSOs converge to confront govt – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 15, 2016

Speaking at a Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) conference to deliberate on strategies on how to confront the government and tackle head-on the challenges affecting the nation, Mahiya said there was need to reorganise people towards achieving the desired change for development.

“Transforming society is not a one-day event, but a development that is premised on the norms and values of a people,” he said.

Mahiya called on CSOs to come up with a programme of action on how to achieve social, political and economic justice as a way of addressing the country’s challenges.

He emphasised the importance of crafting a programme of action premised on the fundamental values of the nation.
“War veterans are at your disposal and we are more than willing to work with you to transform this society for the better,” Mahiya said.

He added war veterans did not belong to a particular individual or political party.

The two-day conference, organised by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) under the title Reimaging Politics, Social and Economic Justice in Zimbabwe: Towards a National Convergence, seeks to find ways on how CSOs can contribute and make interventions in the country’s social, economic and political quagmire.

CiZC vice-chairperson, George Makoni, also challenged CSOs to come up with solutions to alleviate the challenges facing the country.

Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director, Pedzisai Ruhanya said: “Unless the opposition parties revamp themselves, we are currently in a false hope, where we are thinking that the 2018 elections will change our circumstances.”
He predicted that Zanu PF would win the 2018 elections with or without President Robert Mugabe.

Brian Kagoro — a pan-African entrepreneur, who is also a consultant and development governance enthusiast — said greed and selfishness were destroying democracy.

“Sacrifice is no longer sacrifice, but an investment where we are held to ransom by the leaders, who would have made these sacrifices,” he said.

Kagoro said recent developments, where First Lady Grace Mugabe reportedly purchased a $1,4 million diamond ring, showed how the country’s leaders were agents of capitalism.

The conference is being attended by CSO representatives from the country’s 10 provinces, informal traders’ associations, faith and community-based organisations, students’ unions, the business community and social movements, among them Tasvinura and Tajamuka.