Our Silver Rose 2020 awardee, Secretary General Japhet Moyo from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, continues the struggle for social justice in the coronavirus crisis context.
He warns against going into a public hearing process for a Constitutional Amendment in Zimbabwe while the country is on lockdown: “this a deliberate move by the government to sideline a majority of people from meaningfully contributing to the bill”. ZCTU demands a halt to the public hearings, until after the lockdown period, to allow for a truly participatory process: “our people are currently preoccupied with fuel shortages and food shortages, the majority spend nights in queues for essential commodities and might not prioritize the Parliament hearings”, Mr. Moyo adds.
The continuation of the process is indeed worrisome, as the Constitutional amendments proposed range from issues of representation, dispensing with the “running-mate” concept of the Vice-Presidency, Civil Service changes, to the appointment of Ministers and Judges, these last without being subjected to public interview procedure (see the Bill as published in the Zimbabwean Parliament).
ZCTU has also co-signed a CSO Position document, where several Zimbabwean civil society organisations express their concern for the proposed changes.
SOLIDAR supports this stand to conduct the Constitutional amendment proceedings within a legal and participatory framework, in a non-emergency context, as a prime issue involving the Carta Magna of any country requires.
Moreover, in the framework of the programming for the period 2021-2027*, SOLIDAR demands the EU to keep supporting Civil Society Organisations and independent Trade Unions (CSO) - backbone of good governance and sound democracies – and to actively promote an enabling environment for these actors as a precondition of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
*In the framework of SOLIDAR – DEVCO Framework Partnership Agreement “Organising International SOLIDARity: Structuring local to global CSOs engagement on EU development cooperation issues”, SOLIDAR is active in Africa to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the full realisation of Economic and Social Rights.
Photo credit: Our member FOS NGO