By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
A local vendors organisation has teamed up with some organisations to initiate a constitutional awareness campaign after realising that most citizens are ignorant of constitutional matters.
The Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) and 18 other organisations recently conducted a mobile roadshow in Harare as part of the ‘Constitutional Awareness Campaign’ and the event attracted a massive turnout.
According to VISET director Samuel Wadzayi, the mobile roadshow started in the historic Highfield high density suburb and ended in the sprawling Hopley residential area where locals shared their experiences and appreciation of the 2013 Constitution.
“ The mobile roadshow had three stops, maximising on the availability of local residents during the weekend where two of the stops were in Highfield (Machipisa Shopping Centre and Lusaka Shopping Centre) and the third and final stop was in Hopley (Anthony Shopping Centre).
“At each of the stops, local residents came and shared their appreciation and experiences with the Constitution, ” said Wadzayi.
In order to woo young people who have always been found lagging in citizen participation, the roadshow was headlined by chart-topping Jah Signal (pictured) ably supported by Shinsoman ,Empress Massina ,Jiggaz and many other local acts.
“The headline artists were the chart-topping Jah Signal, the seasoned Shinsoman, the ever-green Empress Massina, the growing Jiggazz and many other local acts.
“Each artist delivered top drawer performance and singing songs aligned to the theme of the Campaign #BecomeAnActiveCitizen as part of a comprehensive package of edutainment,”added the Viset director.
Some residents who attended the roadshow were rewarded with branded T-shirts after winning quiz competitions.
The ‘ #BecomeAnActiveCitizen#’ campaign was divided into three broad segments. The first segment focused on defining the Constitution and the fundamental rights and freedoms set out in Chapter 4 of the Constitution while the second segment focused on what is civic education and independent commissions supporting democracy as set out in Chapter 12. The last segment drew focus on what citizen participation means by unpacking devolution as set out in Chapter 14.
Since the adoption of the new political parties driven constitution in 2013 there have been concerns that citizens are not fully aware of the provisions in the constitution that can make them enjoy their rights fully and participate in democracy and governance processes hence the effort by VISET and other like-minded organisations to apprise the general citizenry on these fundamentals.