The petition launched in Harare on Monday under a project called the Democratic Agenda is demanding implementation of key democratic reforms by partners in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) before the country goes to the polls.
“The petition will get to the people through, public meetings programs, churches, fliers, printed T-shirts among other outreach programmes,”said the group’s director Nkosilathi Emmanual Moyo.
“What we are saying under this project is that politicians should stop dictating for the electorate, but the reverse should happen. People are the ones who vote for the politicians and they should be empowered to choose when to vote not what is happening here in the country.”
Key democratic reforms include a new Constitution, a new voters’ roll, legislative, electoral and media reforms. Zimbabwe also needs compliance with SADC electoral guidelines on free and fair elections and put in place mechanisms to make sure that violence will not be a factor in the next elections.
These reforms are clearly stated in the Global Political Agreement which formed the inclusive government, but parties are failing to agree on them despite having signed the pact three years ago.
The mainstream MDC has since said it will not participate in any election which will be held before the implementation of democratic reforms, while ZANU (PF) is vowing to hold them even without the democratisation of such reforms.
Moyo said they are going to approach regional and international groupings with the petition once it has been signed.
“We will start by petitioning President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputies, before taking the petition to south African President Jacob Zuma who is SADC facilitator to the inclusive government .Thereafter we will approach the African Union before forwarding it to the United Nations, ”he said.
ZOYIP argues that if elections are held under the current environment they will be a replica of the June 2008 bloody polls.