This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
VOTE NO IN THE
WHILST couched in nice-flowing language and iced with all the trappings that bourgeoisie money can manage, the Copac Constitution must be exposed for what it is. Its an elitist peace charter by the rich fronted by Zanu PF and the two MDC formations. The ISO has come up with major reasons why the COPAC product must be relegated on the Day of the Referendum, on 16th of March.
DELETE THE ELITIST COPAC CONSTITUION AND BUILD A SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE
Published by the International Socialist Organisation (ISO) Zimbabwe,1st Fl, Crossroads House,43 J Nyerere Way, HARARE
MOBILISE RESISTANCE REJECT A CONSTITUTION FOR ELITES
Zimbabweans thought the change they voted for in 2008 was going to prioritize a more rational and facts- based approach to addressing the major issues of our time. People thought they actually were going to start to abandon our top to down , failed –from –the-start approaches to helping the poor and start exploring new approaches that might actually work. One of such approaches we wanted was ending poverty through a constitution that is people centered and that guarantees socio economic justice to all. With historical precedence on our side for accomplishing this goal, we had in mind the Venezuelan constitutional reform experience that provided a number of enforceable socio economic rights to its people after the ascendancy of Chavez to power. The Latin American experience taught us that the constitution is not just a dead document, but rather a living idea that stays healthy by creating provisions that respond to the pressing social, economic and political needs of the era. NEOLIBERAL COPAC DRAFT Whereas the COPAC draft concentrates of civil political rights it falls far short of addressing pressing social and economic aspirations of the ordinary poor. With our nation so richly endowed with natural resources and with a capable and industrious population, “Another Venezuela in Zimbabwe” is more than possible. The proposed Draft fails to enthrone enforceable socio-economic rights and does not address fundamental issues of severe poverty and inequality. Questions of violation of socio economic
STUDENTS GEARED FOR THE VOTE NO
Students at Zimbabwe’s tertiary institutions are now ready for the Vote No campaign. These progressive students together with the executive of the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), have vowed to campaign against all odds to encourage their compatriots and the community at large to go all out and reject the COPAC draft come the 16th of March 2013. The meetings have already stared with the toasting of former lecturer and now MP-cumCOPAC chairperson-cum-MDCT Spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora at a meeting held at Prestage House near the University of Zimbabwe. They have now planned to launch vote no Facebook page, newsletters as well as tertiary institution visits. The campaign seeks to reject the executive presidency, death sentence as well as the noninclusion of a right to education. Furthermore the students have serious reservations about the political-party dealing and the ignoring of the views of the people that resulted in the current draft.
rights are treated with less urgency than violations of civil and political rights. People`s minds are being boggled to concentrate only on political democracy at the expense of socio economic rights which elites behind the drafting process regard as inspirational goals, rhetorically useful but having few practical implications for government policy and the distribution of resources . It is therefore not surprising that the UNDP poured millions of money to ensure that the drafting team systematically neglect in the draft socio economic rights which people had demanded, with millions still lacking access to even basic shelter, food or health care. Right to strike is not expressly given leaving it subjected to some restrictive statutes which make processes of engaging in lawful strikes cumbersome if not unpractical. The constitution again does not give workers their long waited for right to a living wage .For its neoliberal nature it leaves wages and salaries to be determined at NECs from which no guarantees for living wages can ever be obtained. However, even with a good constitution as we have witnessed with BY LENIN TINASHE the massacre of Marikana workers in South Africa it will not be the solution to the unjust society. Join us in the building of a revolutionary socialist organization - for an equal society were resources are equally disturbed. BY MIKE SAMBO
COPAC Draft Constitution Vanorova mbwa vakaviga mupinyu…Vote No!
COPAC Draft has scandalously omitted the peoples’ rights of economic empowerment, indigenization and nationalization of strategic resources, under workers’ and communities’ democratic control. Further, it provides for compensation to white farmers and foreigners whose farms were expropriated, but without a cent for the exfarm-workers who lost their jobs or land for urban housing. The Draft will allow the Zanu PF chefs and generals to sell for a huge profit the multiple farms they have looted. To ensure this the Draft provides that the land chapter can only be amended after a 2/3 parliament majority and a constitutional referendum. Workers are denied the right to a living wage, a real right to strike; civil servants denied full collective bargaining rights and their full citizenship rights. Women denied rights to abortion, social grants, or 50-50 parity in jobs. Students denied the right to education. No economic or empowerment rights for youths, women, the unemployed, farmers and informal sector. There is no right to recall corrupt or ineffective MPs or councilors, whilst it creates, per capita, the biggest parliament in Africa. It is clear that the COPAC Constitution is there to look after the interests of politicians, the rich, employers, capitalists and imperialists, i.e. the 1% of plutocrats or elites, but doing so in a deceptive manner that deludes working people that their interests too are covered. Vanorava mbwa vakaviga mupinyu! The International Socialist Organisation thus calls for the urgent establishment of a united front of workers, working people, women, youths, students, rural farmers, the disabled, war veterans, socioeconomic justice activists, socialists, and all democrats to spearhead a Vote No Campaign in the Referendum. And beyond, to fight for a real people-driven constitution and against the GNU’s neoliberal agenda and system of capitalism, which is the real source of dictatorship and poverty. Socialism is Life! Reclaim Your Rights… Vote No!
ISO delegates at the 2012 Working People’s Constitutional Convention that rejected the draft constitution
Whilst gains have been made in relation to the inclusion of some socio-economic, gender and labour rights, a deeper look at the COPAC Draft shows that it fails to address fundamental issues of severe poverty, gender and social inequality, economic democratisation and full political democracy as shown in the “15 Reasons to Vote No” attached. In an era where 85 year–old Pope Benedict XVI resigns citing advanced age, the COPAC Draft allows an 89 year – old President Mugabe to potentially rule for another 10 years, until he is 99! It ensures maximum protection of private property thereby preventing the possibility of using our diamonds, platinum, gold or banks to fulfill the declared socio-economic rights of the people. Its real aim is to create a durable constitutional framework of intra-elite democracy and harmony in the face of potential huge revolts from below arising from economic crisis. Thus the COPAC Draft leaves substantially intact the iron fist of the executive imperial presidency to be used by the ruling classes to smash revolts from below as the crisis of capitalism locally and internationally worsens. To please the western capitalist masters, the
OR OVER 15 YEARS the people of Zimbabwe have demanded a new people-driven democratic constitution to replace the compromise and lop -sided 1979 Lancaster Constitution which, with convenient self-serving amendments by Zanu PF, has been the back-bone of a dictatorial and increasingly neoliberal state. They have demanded a constitution written by the people themselves in a democratic, participatory and gender-youth-disability balanced way. A constitution that ends the imperial executive presidency and guarantees democratic and accountable political governance and bread and butter socio economic rights. Thus the people rejected the 2000 Chidyausiku Draft Constitution and the Kariba Draft Constitution. However, what COPAC has delivered, two years late and to gobble over $130million, is a deeply flawed process and product. Contrary to earlier promises, the COPAC Constitution is a negotiated and elitist peace charter by the three parliamentary political parties and their western backers.
NEWS OF THE WORLD
Pistorius case shows South Africa’s divide
What is the shooting case of Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius really about? First, it’s about sport, celebrity, and money. It’s hard to explain otherwise how he was granted bail when he admitted that he blazed away at his bathroom door, killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Secondly, it’s about sexism. South Africa is suffering an epidemic of sexual violence. A survey of women in Gauteng, the country’s economic hub, revealed that a quarter had been raped. The furore about Pistorius has eclipsed the appalling gang rape and murder of 17 year old Anene Booysen in the Western Cape at the beginning of February. But, thirdly, it’s about postapartheid South Africa, a country that is “contradictory, complex and, yes, violent”, as journalist Niren Tolsi put it in Johannesburg’s Mail & Guardian. One thing that stands out about the case is that all the protagonists—Pistorius, Steenkamp, the hapless investigating detective Hilton Botha, even Pistorius’s pastor Bert Pretorius — are Afrikaansspeaking whites. In the apartheid era, when the National Party (NP) ruled South Africa (1948-1994), the Afrikaners were the most powerful ethnic group. Englishspeaking whites might dominate the economy, but the NP sought to institutionalise Afrikaner political and ideological domination. It was a decision to make Afrikaans the main language in schools that provoked the Soweto uprising of 16 June 1976. This began the cycle of struggles that broke apartheid. Soweto Day is now a national holiday. But, although black people have full political citizenship and the African National Congress has supplanted the NP as the unchallenged ruling party, much hasn’t changed.
with attempted murder for firing at a taxi with seven—almost certainly black—passengers. Pistorius’s father Henke told the Daily Telegraph, “When you wake up in the middle of the night, and crime is so endemic in South Africa, what do you do if somebody is in the house? Do you think it’s one of your family? Of course you don’t.” Tolsi commented that a recent report on violence in the policing areas with highest murder rates “found that more than 90 percent of the murder victims were black Africans in all of these areas, except one, where the percentage of black Africans killed was lower (51 percent), but still the leader, among race groups.” Whatever really happened in the Pistorius home in the early hours of St Valentine’s Day, one force at play is the racial paranoia that is fed by the deep fracture in South African society. There are more important expressions of this fracture—above all, the massacre of striking miners in Marikana last August. What that showed was that the brutally oppressive system of migrant labour institutionalised under apartheid continues to sustain the minerals-energy complex driving South African capitalism.
‘South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world. Unemployment is higher than it was under apartheid’
South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world. Unemployment is higher than it was under apartheid. With the exception of the upliftment of a small black business elite and middle class, the economic divide between rich and poor remains a racial one. And the Afrikaners are still there— politically much less powerful and resentful that they face more economic competition from educated blacks. Race, poverty, and violence remain an explosive cocktail. Fear of crime is endemic among white South Africans. Their suburbs boast high fences and are protected by private security forces promising “Armed Response”. Despite living in a closely guarded gated community, Pistorius was obsessed with guns. In this he is entirely typical. South Africa society is permeated with firearms. South African airports still have desks where passengers hand in their guns and collect them on arrival. Detective Botha was taken off the Pistorius case after it emerged he had been charged
The hearings into the massacre continue. These proceedings
are getting a small fraction of the publicity that surrounded the Pistorius bail hearing. All the same that hearing bears witness to the unfinished agenda of the struggle against apartheid.
BY ALEX CALLINICOS Socialist Workers Party-UK
Poverty in South Africa
15 Reasons to Vote No!
1. It was not written by you the people but by four leaders of the GNU political parties. 2. It’s not democratic! 33 Years rule by one man is enough. It allows President Mugabe, 89, possibly to rule for another 10 years, when he will be 99! Zvanyanya… He must retire. Even the Pope has, at 85. 3. It does not provide funded and time-defined rights to: jobs, education, health, housing, water, food, electricity, public transport, rural development; disability; social security and empowerment. It does not provide basic rights but only progressive rights which are subject to claw-backs and availability of funds to the State but there are no provisions to enable the State to fund the declared rights. 4. It’s not democratic! It retains the imperial executive president: “ President wemasimba ose.” President appoints all cabinet ministers and most senior state, military and judicial officials; can unilaterally change laws, dissolve parliament or declare war. Provides no age limit. Allows current judges and AG Tomana to stay in office without vetting. No real Devolution of power is provided for. 5. It’s not democratic! It does not guarantee free and fair elections! The same military generals and judges of June 2008 remain to control the election process! There is no right to vote for the Diaspora. No right to recall corrupt or ineffective MPs or councilors; No proportional representation of MPs; No quotas for workers, farmers, youths and war veterans. 6. Is a politicians’ gravy train: has over 350 MPs, 2 vice presidents and an unlimited cabinet! It abolishes death penalty mainly for men over 70 years …who are these and why them alone? Abolish the Death Penalty for all! Free Maengahama and Ors… Drop charges on the GV 29, who may face this penalty! 7. No compensation for victims of past genocides, Gukurahundi, state violence like June 2008 and Murambatsvina. No transitional justice and punishment for perpetrators of crimes against humanity. 8. Attacks workers: no living wage; no full right to strike; denies full collective bargaining for civil servants; prohibits civil servants and municipal workers from political activity; no protection of contract workers; no time limits for finalizing labour disputes; no exclusive Labour Court. 9. Attacks youths and students: No right to jobs, public work programmes or economic empowerment; no right to education, grants or loans; no youths quotas in parliament/councils; no right to abortion. 10. Attacks women: no 50-50% quotas in jobs or all public offices; no economic empowerment; no social grants and social security right; no funded maternity pay/benefits for all women; no right to abortion. 11. Attacks vendors and informal sector: no right to trade or work without harassment; no economic empowerment; no social security benefits. Attacks and scapegoats minorities like gays and lesbians. 12. Does not give land to the landless or for housing or compensation to ex-farm workers but specially protects the chefs with many farms; and compensates ex-white and foreign western farmers. 13. Is preparation for another elite GNU after elections, bringing together Zanu PF and MDC politicians, bosses and imperialists to make money and accelerate their policies of capitalism, ESAP and neo-liberalism against workers, youths, women, farmers and the poor [“Eat what you hunt”]. 14. It totally defends the capitalist system and property of employers and the rich. No nationalization under workers’ and communities’ control of natural resources like diamonds, platinum, gold and major businesses to fund jobs, education, health, water, rural farmers etc. No empowerment or employee or community ownership schemes! It’s a constitution for politicians, employers and the rich: the 1% of plutocrats or elites, and not us the 99%, the ordinary people!
15. No more half-backed promises of change or the crumbs COPAC is offering just because of elections. Politicians lie to get into power but once in office they forget the people and start looting. The COPAC Constitution will cost over $130million yet the SA one cost less than $30million! Like the Lancaster one, this COPAC Constitution will become permanent and enslave us and future generations. Politicians think they own the people, who will just blindly follow them …
Capitalism Kills …. Socialism is Life! Vote NO!
Vote NO! Vote NO! Join us in building a revolutionary socialist organisation International Socialist Organisation [email@example.com]
Stop them Vote NO!
Hugo Chavez 1954-2013
Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez Frias has died in hospital after a long fight with cancer. Mike Gonzalez looks back at Chavez’s life and ideas—and the Venezuela he leaves behind If revolution is the moment when the masses take to the stage of history, then Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution began on 11 April 2002. A right wing coup kidnapped him and proclaimed a new government. It lasted barely 48 HUGO CHAVEZ hours. Tens of thousands of Chavez supporters surrounded the presidential palace demanding his return. Later that year, the right launched a bosses’ strike with the intention of paralysing the oil industry on which the country depended. This too was defeated by the mass mobilisation of Chavez’s supporters. His victory in the presidential elections in 1998 hadn’t had much resonance outside Venezuela at the time. But within the country the effect was dramatic. Chavez’s election manifesto was antiimperialist, specifically hostile to the US which had dominated Venezuela throughout the 20th century. It was nationalist, under the banner of Simon Bolivar, leader of Latin America’s 19th century independence movement. And it promised a reform of the corrupt state machine and the system of patronage it concealed. The new constitution, passed by a delegate assembly in 1999, provided guarantees of social justice, human rights and the accountability of politicians. But it was equally true that Chavez was still relying on his military supporters (see below). He enjoyed mass support among the poor, but that relationship had no organised political expression. And his party, the Fifth Republic Movement, proved to be unaccountable and susceptible to the corruptions of power. In 2000 Chavez presented himself for new elections under the rewritten constitution. And between 2002 and 2005 the Bolivarian process took a new and more radical direction. The state oil company was placed under direct state control. Until then it had operated autonomously, like any other multinational. Its profits then funded programmes of social reforms—in health, education and housing in particular—driven by rank and file organizations called missions. In 2005, speaking at the World Social Forum, Chavez announced that Venezuela was constructing “21st century socialism”. While it was received joyfully, it remained unclear what it meant. It was clearly different from Stalinism, emphasising democracy and popular participation, and it was radically anti-imperialist. Chavez scourged Bush and the US invasion of Iraq at the UN, and began to build organisations of Latin American unity linking other “new left” governments in Bolivia and Ecuador. And in a series of electoral tests it became clear that Chavez’s support was growing. In 2006 he won the presidency again with over 60 percent of the national vote. Some weeks later he announced the formation of a new party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Had the revolutionary nationalist become a revolutionary socialist? Chavez and others frequently referred to Leon Trotsky, Rosa Luxemburg and Antonio Gramsci— as well as Simon Bolivar, and God. If the transformation was real, then the PSUV would be an expression of power passing directly into the hands of the mass organisations, which was the brief expectation of many on the left. Nearly six million joined the new party, a testimony to Chavez’s enormous popularity. But the model of the party adopted by the PSUV appeared to be the Cuban Communist Party, not noted for its democratic character. The irony of the Bolivarian revolution is that its undoubted social advances were made possible by the rising price of oil. This funded the social programmes and oil remains the country’s main export earner. Chavez diversified Venezuela’s international dependencies. China, Russia and Iran came to play an increasingly central role. Yet, despite the hysteria of the antiChavez camp, there was no policy of redistribution. Some firms were nationalised and compensated at market rates, but for the most part only when they were abandoned or guilty of the most barefaced manipulations. The year 2006 was in many ways a crossroads. The creation of Latin American blocs such as ALBA and CELAC were expressions of Chavez’s Bolivarianism, his Panamerican vision. Yet this was not the 21st century socialism, the democratic revolution, that had been promised. In Venezuela a new elite was emerging, a dominant bureaucracy in red caps and T-shirts. At the same time inefficiencies, the failure to complete major projects, and the incorporation of mass leaders slowly undermined the mass organisations whose struggles had carried Chavez to power. Every vote confirmed Chavez’s immense popularity. But conversations at street corners testified to an increasing frustration with a new political machine that appeared to function at Chavez’s whim. There was no open process of decisionmaking. Instead policies were announced—often without prior notice—on Chavez’s entertaining Sunday morning TV specials. The impression was of a regime without a strategic vision that created policy on the hoof. Political discussion was increasingly polarised. Public denunciations replaced debate. And power was becoming concentrated on Chavez and his immediate circle. But it was not the idea of creating an alternative capitalist bloc that had brought Latin America’s mass movements on to the streets. It was the promise of “people’s power” that made Chavez such a potent symbol of resistance and of a different, socialist future. On the eve of his last journey to Havana for medical treatment, Chavez assured his television audience that he was leaving a strong collective leadership behind him. In fact the power of the Chavista state was concentrated in Chavez himself. Without him the sectional interests and power hunger of individual members of his government are almost bound to emerge and conflict. No one has the charisma that Chavez undoubtedly possessed. The alternative that faces Venezuela after Chavez is either the growing use of a state that claims his name but cannot claim his influence, or the re-emergence of a powerful mass movement still ready to struggle for “people’s power”. He left behind a language of liberation and solidarity, but the structures to turn them into a new and different kind of society have yet to be built. Socialist Worker (UK)
Why ordinary people must say No! to the COPAC Draft Constitution
Introduction The Copac Draft Constitution is a deeply flawed process and product. Here are four major reasons: (1) The draft is not democratic: it maintains the monstrous executive presidency, does not provide for free and fair elections; does not provide for the right to recall corrupt or ineffective MPs or councilors and it provides a bloated parliament gravy train for politicians; (2) it fails to provide funded socioeconomic rights for women, workers, rural farmers, informal sector workers, youths, children, and the disabled, but massively protects and rewards the rich; (3) (3) it does not provide for economic empowerment and indigenization of the country’s main resources like diamonds and platinum to fund the poor’s socio-economic rights; it does not provide fairness in land redistribution and will substantially reverse the gains of the land reform; (4) (4) the Copac process and referendum are not democratic and are being fast-tracked without the people being given enough time to study and understand the draft constitution. Copac Process is undemocratic Because they are afraid that their sham may be exposed, the GNU government has dubiously provided only three weeks for campaigning on the COPAC Draft Constitution and produced only 70 000 English copies of the draft constitution and 20 000 in Shona and Ndebele for a population of over 12 million. Yet the GPA provided for up to three months of public debate. The body to run the referendum , ZEC, had stated that it required two months to prepare for the referendum. In the 2010 Kenya Constitution, the people were given four months to debate the draft constitution. It has taken COPAC over four years to come up with its draft, yet it now gives people less than three weeks to understand the bulky document, which is not even available to
the people! To insult to injury, Copac, which is supposed to be a neutral state body, is spending millions of public funds, campaigning for a “YES” vote, which position is clearly unconstitutional as it violates citizens’ rights to free and fair elections under section 23A of the Constitution as well as citizens’ right to freedom from discrimination on political grounds under section 23. Further under the Electoral Law, ZEC is supposed to ensure equal and fair media coverage for both positions, but this is not being done, as only the COPAC position is enjoying unlimited media coverage. From the above, it is clear that the COPAC Constitution is there to look after the interests of politicians, the rich, employers, capitalists and imperialists. On the other hand Mugabe has clearly decided to compromise on what were the main demands of the ordinary people of Zanu PF in relation to land, indigenization and economic empowerment in order to make peace with the capitalists and imperialists so that he can live his last days in peace and not face the fate of Mubarak, Gaddaffi etc.
Copac Constitution : No real change from Lancaster Constitution
Executive Presidency remains
A favourite argument of the YES camp is that the COPAC Draft Constitution is better than the current Lancaster Constitution. To use their terms, “in life you can never have perfect things … this is a good comprise which represents incremental change.” A look at the powers of the executive presidency shows how much they are lying and why all persons who love democracy must reject the COPAC Draft, even if there may be a few acceptable things here and there. Zanu PF has got its main demand of keeping the current Lancaster Constitution provisions on the monster executive presidency, which was used to commit crimes against humanity in Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and June 2008 elections. We can’t trust the alternative not to abuse these powers. Tsvangirai had the MDC constitution amended to remove term caps that would have required him to leave after two terms. MDC-T has denied members full democratic primaries to protect the party leaders. No wonder why the party now carries his surname! Here is a sample of the powers of “President wemasimba ose.” The President is head of state, head of government and commander in chief as no post of prime minister has been established [ s 110(1)]. The president enjoys supreme executive authority [s 110 ] and is still part of the Legislature [s 116]. The president has power to dissolve Parliament if it refuses to pass his/her government’s budget [s 143] or power to dissolve it if it passes a vote of no confidence in his / her government [s 109] The president appoints all Ministers and Deputy Ministers on his/her own without the approval of Parliament and there is no maximum limit on the size of Cabinet [s 104]. The president appoints directly or indirectly most of the senior state, military and judiciary officials, including: ambassadors [s 204]; permanent secretaries [s 205]; security chiefs like the army commanders, commissioner of police etc [Chapter 11]; judges of the superior courts [s 180]; the Zimbabwe Land Commission [s 296]; the Civil Service Commission [s 202]; the chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of the independent constitutional commissions [Chapter 12] The president has the ultimate authority to approve salaries, allowances and benefits for all civil servants, disregarding whatever negotiations would have been carried out by public service unions and the Civil Service Commission [s 203 (4) ]. The president has powers to: declare war [s 111]; declare a state of emergency [ s 113]; pardon his/her political allies [s 112]; and enjoys unlimited immunity while in office [s 111]. The two terms cap on presidential powers is held not to apply to the incumbent president, meaning that an 89 year old President Mugabe who has been in office for 33 years now, may potentially rule for another 10 years until he is 99 years, whilst by-elections for a presidential vacancy have been frozen for 10 years, as the party of the former president will nominate the successor! Further the COPAC Draft fails to provide for real devolution of powers to provinces. This is merely mentioned but no substantive provincial governments are provided [ s 264]. Whilst Zanu PF has protected many of its old men who could face possible death penalty charges for crimes against humanity such as Gukuruhandi, by ensuring the COPAC Draft abolishes the death penalty for men above 70, the MDC leaders foolishly agreed to keep the death penalty for young men between 21 and 70 [s 48]. They should instead have argued (as they now are in Senate) for its abolition for all human beings as is done in over 150 countries in the world. Now, this could be applied against its own political prisoners, such as Maengahama and the Glen View 29, if convicted .TO P 9
Copac Constitution and Women: Not yet liberation for working class women: only elite women happy!
Many women organizations are mobilsing support for the Copac Draft arguing that women have got most of the demands they wanted. It is probably true, that the most progressive and welcome aspects of the Copac Draft constitution are in relation to women, and in particular gender equality rights. This is testimony to the massive mobilization done by women, gender organizations, trade unions and social movements like DUF before and during the Copac outreach programme. However, while major advancements have been made, the ones who will benefit the most are elite and rich women, as the bread and butter demands that are crucial for the full liberation of ordinary women have been excluded. For them poverty, hunger and oppression will continue under the Copac constitution. Gender advances made Some of the good gender rights and national objectives recognized in the Copac Draft include: gender equality as a founding value and principle [ s 3 g]; binding and enforceable rights to – equality and nondiscrimination, including the right of women and men to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres; and to affirmative action to redress past discrimination [s 56]; to confer citizenship on children [Chapter 3]; to human and bodily dignity and to personal security including protection from domestic violence including decisions concerning reproduction [s 51, 52]; to life including protection from the death penalty [ s 48]; to fair and safe labour rights and just and equitable conditions of work including a fair and reasonable wage, to equal remuneration for similar work and to fully paid maternity leave of at least three months [s 65]; to environmental rights [ s 73]; to basic health-care services, including reproductive health-care services [s 76]; to safe, clean and potable water and sufficient food [s 77]; special elaborate rights of women under Chapter 4 Part 3, including: full and equal dignity of the person with men including equal opportunities in political, economic, and social activities; the same rights as men regarding custody and guardianship of children; and that all “laws, customs, traditions and cultural practices that infringe the rights of women conferred in this Constitution are void to the extent of the infringement.” [ s 80]; rights to enforce the Declaration of Rights as individuals, or on behalf of a group or class of persons [s 85] and obligation of State to domesticate all international treaties it has ratified [s 34] Key national objectives included in Chap 2, include: gender balance under s 17 compelling the State to promote full gender balance in society including “the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must take practical measures to ensure that women have access to resources, including land, on the basis of equality with men.” The empowerment objective obliges the state to endeavor to facilitate empowerment measures and to take steps to ensure adequate measures “are undertaken to create employment for all Zimbabweans, especially women and youths”; [ s 14]; work and labour relations objectives like the State endeavoring to secure full employment; the removal of restrictions that unnecessarily inhibit or prevent people from working and otherwise engaging in gainful economic activities; vocational training; the implementation of measures such as family care that enable women to enjoy a real opportunity to work [s 24]; protection of the family,, whereby the State is to take measures for the provision of care and assistance to mothers, fathers and other family members who have charge of children and the prevention of domestic violence [ s25]; to marriage rights, including that the State is to take appropriate measures to ensure that, no marriage is entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses, that children are not pledged in marriage, there is equality of rights and obligations of spouses during marriage and at its dissolution, and that in the event of dissolution of a marriage whether through death or divorce, provision is made for the necessary protection of any children and spouse [s 26]; the state to take practical measures for free and compulsory basic education for children, and higher and tertiary education with measures to ensure that girls are afforded the same opportunities as boys to obtain education at all levels. [s 27]. In terms of political rights: women can now be half of Senate [s 120]; sixty seats reserved for women in the National Assembly for the first two parliaments of the COPAC Constitution [s 124]; gender balance provision in s 17 compelling State to promote full gender balance in Zimbabwe including measures and legislative measures, to ensure that “both genders are equally represented in all institutions and agencies of government at every level; and women constitute at least half the membership of all Commissions and other elective and appointed governmental bodies established by or under this Constitution or an Act of Parliament”; obligation to take positive “measures to rectify gender discrimination and imbalances resulting from past practices; [s 17 (2) ]; that the Commissions and judiciary must have gender balance. No economic or empowerment rights for youths, women, the unemployed, farmers and informal sector. But above gains will not achieve women emancipation Most of the above are major and powerful advances for gender equality as was demanded by women and their organizations and progressive organizations and males. However, most of these advances pertain to bringing gender equality and gender balance between men and women, whilst not touching the economic class foundations that are the real causes of inequality between men and women. As long as the major wealth of society is owned and controlled by the few, mainly men, as capitalist private property, and as long as there is the patriarchal monogamous family, then real equality between men and women will remain a mirage. Whilst welcome and a necessary step forward legal equality TO NEXT PAGE
Volume 1, Issue 1
Copac Constitution and Women: Not yet liberation for working class women: only elite women happy! CONTINUED FROM LAST PAGE
and gender balance between men and women, will mean that most women will continue to live wretched and oppressed lives as informal sector workers, contract workers, the unemployed or in the subsistent agriculture sector. Because it is documented drafted by the elites and for the elites, the COPAC Draft constitution leaves out key economic and empowerment rights that would really make the lives of ordinary women in the urban and rural areas much better, as we have seen in Venezuela. Where the COPAC Draft provides socioeconomic rights, they are subject to the availability of funds to the State but State is not equipped to fund such rights. There are no time limits for the realization of such rights. Many of the socio-economic provisions are provided as national objectives instead of basic rights, which makes their enforceability problematic. Crucially the gender balance and equality provisions do not extend to the private sector and domain, yet this has a huge impact on the rights of women. Denial of full political and citizen rights to civil servants and employees of local authorities, wherein they are prohibited from active engagement in politics by holding political office is a massive blow to women’s political engagement as such sectors are the greatest employers of women in the formal sector. Also denied in the COPAC Draft are rights to abortion, social grants, or 50-50 parity in jobs, whilst girl students have been denied the right to education at tertiary and higher levels. The absence of the right to economic development, to econom empowerment, to work in he informal sector and worker-community and public ownership and control of the major wealth of society means the capitalist and male –dominated private property economic foundation is left intact. And with this remains the main reason for women’s oppression and exploitation together with privatized family care. Thus the women who will benefit the ost from the Copac Draft will be the tiny layer of professional, elite and rich women who can access and use the gender equality provisions provided under the Copac Draft. And it is in its massive protection of the rich, employers and the capitalist system, that this Copac Draft constitution will in effect mean most women in the rural areas, in the informal sector, or as workers or in the townships, will remain poor, oppressed and second class citizens. As long as the system of capitalism remains intact and the private property of the rich massively protected, there will be no real liberation of women, just as of ordinary male working people. This is why ordinary women, must join up with their working class male counter-parts in saying NO to the Copac Draft Constitution and accelerating the struggle against the system of capitalism, which breeds oppression and exploitation in the first place. Only socialism will provide the basis for the true liberation of all women as well as the whole of society.
Caption describing picture or graphic.
“To catch the reader's attention, place an interesting sentence or quote from the story here.”
No real change from Lancaster Constitution
[from page 7]
No free and fair elections and capitalism continues Besides not providing for the right to recall MPs and councilors, the COPAC draft does not facilitate free and fair elections. The generals, police chiefs, judges and state bureaucrats in ZEC and Registrar-General offices, who all played a key role in ensuring Mugabe remained in power despite losing the March 2008 elections, will still be in charge of the 2013 elections. Zanu PF ensured this by delaying the completion of the constitution-making process, right to the end, when elections are due. Unlike in Kenya where the constitution was completed in 2010, and elections now held under a new electoral commission, chief justice, police chief, etc, in Zimbabwe it is the same powers as before. Witness today
the increased police attacks on civic groups, confiscation of radios or even banning meetings by Tsvangirai himself. And like Lancaster Constitution, the COPAC Draft massively protects the private property of the rich, capitalists and imperialists and the capitalist system at the expense of the poor [s 71]. We must thus reject the argument that the COPAC draft represents an incremental change from Lancaster. We don’t want incremental change we want and deserve real democratic change. This is why blacks rejected the 1961 Southern Rhodesia Constitution that gave blacks 15 seats in Parliament leaving the white settlers in control. And why even the 1979 Zimbabwe – Rhodesia Constitution
ZIM BUMBIRO R E C O PA C ZVARAKANAKIRA KUMADZIMAI!
Musi wa 11 March madzimai vakabatana nevarume pasi rose vanenge vachirangarira zvekarare zuva re International Women’s Day iro rakauya nekurwisa udzanyiriri hwemadzima kwakaitwa nevashandi vechidzimai vakabatana nevarume. Mu Zimbabwe zuva iri rinoitwa pasara mazuva mashoma kuti ruzhinji rweZimbabwe rwunge rwuchienda kundo vhota ku Referendum musi wa 16 March 2013. Semadzimai vanenge vachangobva kucherechedza zuva rakarwirwa kodzero dzavo vangaende here kundovhotera kuti Bumbiro renyika rakabudiswa neve COPAC rakanaka.
Madzimai ari mu ZCTU ve Concerned Affiliates vachange vachicherechedza zuva remadzimai vachiti Gender Agenda – Gaining Momentum zvichireva izvo kuti nyaya dzekuti vanhu rume ne vakadzi vaedzane dziri kuramba dzichienderera mberi. Bumbiro rakabudiswa ne COPAC chinyemu kune ruzhinji rwevakadzi vemu Zimbabwe. Chinopa kune vakadzi avo vakadzidza vari pamusoro chete chisina zvachinopa kune ruzhinji rwemadzimai rwuri kutambura. Zvakanaka kuti vakaisa kuti mabasa ose ari pasi pehurumende aofanira kunge achitevera nyaya ye Gender equality vaisafanira kugumira pamabasa emuhurumende asi kumakambani akasimiririra opga sezvakaitwa ku Europe nyika dzema Scandinavia. Huyezve panofanira kupihwa nguva yazvinofanira kuitwa sezvakaitwa kunyika dzakaita se South Africa and Kenya. Kuedzaniswa kwemadzimai nevarume kunofanira kuwanikwawo kuVatongi vedimhosva (Magistrates and Judges) mumakanzuru (Councillors – Local Authorities) uyezvewo nemudare reparamende. Mubumbiro iri kuma Senate vakakwanisa kuzvigadziridza asi mu paramendi vanopa zvigaro 66 kumadzimai kwemakore gumi, ko chii chinozoititika kana makore aya apera? Mucabinet munofanira kunge muine kuyenzaniswa uku uyezve kana President ari murume 1st Vice President anofanira kuita mukadzi. Bumbiro iri rakaisa matanho ekuti vakadzi vawane mikana yekuwana minda zvakaenzerana nevarume. Izvi zvakanaka asi zvinofanira kuendeswa ku Chapter 4 yema Bill of Rights kwazvinoita chisungo chakasimba. Bumbiro rinofanira kuisa limit yemakore emitemo ichazoiswa kuti kuve neyedzano nokuti zvikasiwa zvakadaro zvinotora nguva huru zvichingonzi zvichaitwa. Mamwe ma constitution enyika dzakaita se Malawi, Uganda vanoisa nyaya ye Affirmative Action kuitira kuti hurumende ikurudzire kusimudzirwa kwemadzimai munyaya dze uupfumi zvichitevera nhorondo yekudzvanyirirwa kwemadzimai panyaya idzi. Nyangwe zvavo madzimai achitambira kubvisirwa kwavakaitwa nyaya yemutongo werufu izvi zvinofanira kuitirwa munhu wose hapana anofanira kutongerwa rufu. Izvi zvinoita kuti avo vanoratidza kusafara nematongerwo enyika vari varume vechidiki vatongwe ne Treason inozowanikwa vachiuurayiwa. Madzimai anotambira nyaya yematernity leave asi kuti kusave nekudzanyirirwa kwemadzimai anoenda pazororo iri mari yacho inofanira kubva kuhomwe yehurumende, uyezve mwedzi iwedzerwe kumitanhatu kuti mukadzi anyatsosimba asati adzokera kubasa uyezve awane nguva yekurera mwana. Vana baba vanafanirawo kupihwa paternity leave kuti vabatsire pakurera amai vanenge vachiri kurwadziwa vabva kusununguka. Nyaya
abortion inofanira kubvumidzwa kuitira vakadzi vakawanda vari kufa vachibvisa nhumbu nemikoto vasafe uyezve vana vasaraswe kana kushungurudzwa nekuti vanenge vazvarwa nemukadzi asina mari yekuvachengeta. Chimwe chakakosha chiri kushungurudza vakadzi vakawanda chakasiwa ne COPAC asi chisina husungo hwakasimba ndechekuti hurumende inofanira kucherechedza vanhu vanoshanda vakazvimiririra (Informal Sector) nekushayikwa kwemabasa kuripo. Munhu wese anofanira kuve nekodzero yekuita basa rinomupa raramo. Izvi tinozviona zvakatoitwa nehurumende yeMalawi iyo yakaisa mubumbiro kuti ichatora matanho ekusumudzira vanhu mukurarama mumabasa emaoko. Nyaya yema Bill of Rights akaita sekodzero yekudzidza, kurapwa, pekugara, kudya zvakaiswa asi vachibva vatora nerumwe ruoko kuti izvi zvinongoitwa kana paine mari. Mari dzriripo dzinobva muzvicherwa zvakaita sema Diamonds, goridhe saka vanofanira kutonyora kuti mari ibve ikoko pane kuti ishandiswe nevanhu vashoma.
Madzimai nevarombo vose vemunyika yeZimbabwe bumbiro reCOPAC nderevari kutonga veZanu PF, MDC-T ne MDC pamwepo nevane mari. Harisi bumburio rinoda kuchinja upenyu hwevazhinji kuti hunake asi kuti vashoma varambe vachidya naizvozvo ngatindoita VOTE NO musi wa 16 March tivaratidze kuti taramba kuramba tichingobatwa kumeso, varombo Tamuka todawo mugove wedu, hatidye marara. By Tafadzwa Sando
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.