HARARE , Zimbabwe – Citizens Manifesto will convene the third National Citizens’ Convention (NCC) from 4-6 November 2020 as a hybrid online and onsite event in line with COVID-19 regulations. This year’s NCC is set to interrogate key questions around Zimbabwe’s ongoing impasse and new abnormalities brought on by the COVID-19 public health crisis. The key aim of the convention is to create an inclusive environment for citizens to participate in the national discourse, defining and building solidarity towards this year’s theme; “#NoneButOurselves: Re-imagining The Future We Want Post-COVID 19“.
The Convention will inquire into and try to answer the three following questions ;
1. Where are we today?
2. Why are we where we are?
3. Where do we want to go?
The convention will also seek answers in the context of three proposed thematic areas and their sub-themes :
Forging a New Social Contract Based on Trust, Agency & Solidarity Begins with Us
Zimbabwe is a multiply wounded nation, with a lingering legacy of trauma , division and polarization that has caused many of us to lead out of woundedness – in our communities, in our institutions, and most notably in our political space. The deepening polarisation and fragmentation has frayed our social fabric and numbed our sense of solidarity in facing the collective challenges we face as a nation. The NCC will bring in a suite of participatory and appreciative processes which can help us build from the points of health in our society. By reconnecting: to each other and to the soul of Zimbabwe – we believe that a more dignified and reciprocal social contract – based on broadbased inclusion – becomes possible.
Participatory Democracy And Constitutionalism: Creating Room For Everyone
While the COVID-19 health crisis has exposed and intensified human rights abuse, deficiencies in the commitment to constitutionalism and democracy in Zimbabwe have been with us for a while. The 2nd National Citizens’ Convention concluded with a Call to Put Citizens, Constitution and Country First. Why are we yet to still implement a Constitution that was adopted 7 years ago? How can citizens and communities enjoy their rights to participation and fundamental freedoms on a daily basis? The importance of democracy as a bottom-up community-anchored process cannot be overemphasized in Zimbabwe. To build this democracy from our communities upwards, we need an honest and frank interrogation of how representative democracy and equity are being experienced in Zimbabwe. Using the same appreciative processes we will recall collective experiences of health in our democratic landscape. Of note, our historical Constitution-building process engaged citizens across all segments of society and created space for everyone to participate. How do we invite such widespread participation in bringing our Constitution to life every day, in everything, for everyone?
An Inclusive And Sustainable Economy: Getting Our National Wealth To Serve Our Communities And Conserve Our Environment
Public accountability, transparency and anti-Corruption are deeply entangled in questions of ownership and distribution in Zimbabwe. The deliberations under this thematic area will make the link between the personalization of national wealth, natural resource governance, the environment and climate justice. Zimbabwe is bestowed with immense wealth in our land, in our minerals, in our wildlife and environment, and in the people. The 3rd NCC will invite an exploration of how citizens and communities are breathing life into alternative local economies and how the same need to advocate for macroeconomic restructuring to move in tandem with this evolution so that no one is left behind in Zimbabwe.
Who are the Conveners
Citizens’ Manifesto is a civic convergence platform for progressive citizens, local community collectives, civil society and activists working in solidarity to amplify citizens’ voice and action towards a better Zimbabwe for all. Over 20 affiliate organizations and community collectives are co-creating this year’s NCC, with technical committees anchoring different aspects of the Convention. This platform is living out what becomes possible when diverse communities come together around a clear vision and clear values for regeneration in Zimbabwe. Citizens’ Manifesto hosted the inaugural National Citizens Convention on 20 July 2018, ten days ahead of the first harmonized election in the post-Mugabe era. It was graced by the Elders group led by the late former UN Secretary General and former minister of Economic Development in Ghana Kofi Annan and was attended by over 2,000 citizens. The 2nd National CitizensConvention was held in September 2019 and co-convened by 25 civil society organisations.
Participation in the 3rd NCC
Information on how to register for the Convention will be available on the Citizens’ Manifesto website: www.citizens-manifesto.org. Many of the sessions will also be live-streamed and details of the pages to watch for these conversations will be shared over the next week. Participation is open to all who are ready to engage in respectful, progressive and inspiring dialogue about how to move this country forward. For more information get in touch with: email@example.com / @citmanifesto