Zimbabwe Women Launch SMS Constitution Campaign

A pamphlet by the organisation said the message to be texted can read something like: “Good morning COPAC chairperson. The women agenda to participate equally in the constitution making process is not a ZANU-PF agenda. Please rectify the situation otherwise you go down in history as the leaders of who excluded women from a national process. You are on record as saying the constitution making process is the freedom train. Freedom should be for all Zimbabweans irregardless of gender. Give women an equal   chance in the writing of the country’s constitution.”

According to the organization’s Director Netsai Mushonga, the campaign named “Text e’m Campaign’ will see Zimbabwean women sending at least a 1 000 messages a day through cell phones to each of the three COPAC chairpersons namely Paul Mangwana (Zanu  PF), Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) and  Edward Mukosi (MDC-M) demanding equal gender  representation in the  process.

“This  is a response to what  COPAC has  said  about the petition we forwarded  to  them last  month whose formal  response we are yet to receive,” Mushonga  told Radio VOP in Harare on Thursday.

The women’s petition to demand equal representation on all constitution processes, was thrown out by the Parliamentary committe, which accused the women of being used by Zanu PF to derail the constituition process. Women were in the petition also demanding 50 percent representation in all outreach and  thematic teams. The petition by the women was handed over to the Parliamentary committee by Women Affairs Gender and Community Development Minister Olivia Muchena, a senior ZANU-PF official.

Mushonga said her organisation was mobilising and encouraging women to spread the campaign by involving their colleagues at work, families, neighbours and churches.

Meanwhile National Cosntitutional Assembly (NCA) Lovemore Madhuku is adamant the current constituional process will not yield the kind of
constitution that Zimbabweans have been fighting for in the past decade.

Addressing journalists at Quill Club in Harare on Thursday evening, Madhuku who has in the past dismissed the process as a waste of time and donors money, said the NCA felt let down by fellow partners in civic society and its long time ally, the MDC, that have teamed up to produce what he
said would be a defective document.

The MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) say there is nothing wrong in politicians leading the process for as long as the resultant document will incorporate the views of the people.