Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Bulawayo have recommitted themselves to the Zimbabwe People’s Charter that seeks solutions to the country’s political and economic crisis, amid reports some of the CSOs had abandoned the project.
The Zimbabwe People’s Charter was adopted at the Peoples’ Convention in Harare on 9 February 2008 by over 35 CSOs drawn from across the country.
It contains seven points and is aimed at finding solutions to the Zimbabwean crisis on the “understanding that our struggle for emancipation has been drawn-out and is in need of a people-driven solution”.
The seven thematic areas of the charter are: political environment, elections, constitutional reform, national economy and social welfare, national value system, gender and youth.
Speaking at a meeting held at the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) offices at the weekend, Matabeleland Constitutional Reform Agenda director, Effie Ncube however, admitted that all has not gone well.
“When we adopted the people’s charter, we said there is not going to be a legitimate election until this charter has been adopted by the leaders. But a month after adopting it, we had an election.
What is important for us as CSOs is to take stock. Some of the things in the charter are already irrelevant and we have to be honest about that,” he said.
A ZCTU official, Reason Ngwenya, said it was shocking that some of the people who were there when they agreed on the charter went on to contest the elections the charter opposed and were now MPs.
“Some of the people who were there when we wrote this charter are already MPs. When you try to remind them of the charter, they will tell you, ‘you are dreaming’. But we should push on with the charter.
“Believe it or not, our position should be that if the MDC doesn’t want it (charter), to hell with it (MDC); if Zanu PF doesn’t want it, to hell with it (Zanu PF).
“Like the Freedom charter of South Africa that endured 50 years, this document should be our reference,” he said.
Pretty Abrahams, an official with Women Institute for Leadership Development (WILD), said the charter was important because it sought to advance women.