By Staff Reporter
Citizens’ Manifesto held a presentation of a communiqué from their second National Citizens Convention (NCC) that was held a few months ago in the capital yesterday.
The event which was hosted in conjunction with Zimbabwe National Editors’ Forum (ZINEF) saw in attendance a number of media practitioners from various media houses.
In their report Citizens’ Manifesto unpacked a report that urged the government to prioritize citizens above everything
In respect to the economy, the report highlighted that citizens where concern by the state of economic collapse in the country and the resultant poverty and lack of employment and livelihood opportunities.
On politics and governance, it was noted that democracy which is supposed to be ruled by the people for the people have seen citizens being marginalized to the periphery with no meaningful consultation and participation in processes that impact their lives.
The need for a new social contract which creates a solid foundation for social cohesion, national peace and reconciliation which helps to reweave the social fabric of Zimbabwean society was also realized.
Several proposals were brought forward by those who took part at this event.
One of the contributors at the event was prominent journalist Dumisani Mleya who reiterated on the need to prioritize citizens above everything else when it comes to issues of governance.
“In the whole process of national governance we need participation by the media and by the citizens, but particularly citizens because everyone where ever you are stationed in life whether you are a journalist, politician, activist, doctor and other professions, first and foremost you are a citizen,” said Mleya
“You are a citizen first before you become a doctor, you are a citizen first before you become a journalist, so citizen participation is very important,” he added
Mr Mleya also spoke on how citizens’ participation is restricted in Zimbabwe.
“One of the fundamental things about the failure of governance in this country is the failure of citizens’ participation or public participation as it is very limited in our national process particularly government processes,” he added
Addressing participants at the same occasion, Citizens Manifesto convener Briggs Bomba underpinned the need to involve the public in decisions that the government implements.
Bomba said there are on the verge of meeting with MDC Alliance President Advocate Nelson Chamisa and President Emmerson Munangagwa for dialogue to bring to their attention citizen’s concerns.
Zimbabweans from various sectors of the society converged for the second annual National Citizens Convergence in Harare from the 24th to 25th of September to deliberate on ideal Zimbabwe.
Citizen Manifesto is a civic convergence platform for progressive citizens, local community collectives, civil societies and activists working in solidarity to amplify citizen’s voice and actions towards a better Zimbabwe.