Citizens push for demilitarisation of state

Civil society organisations have called for the de-militarisation of the state and for the government to implement reforms that are going to put citizens at the centre of the state.

This came out during the ongoing National Citizens’ Convention held in Harare.

Speaking during a presentation on the state and governance, Sakhile Sifelani Ngoma from Women in Politics said the hyper militarisation of the state has compromised the standards of living for citizens.

“The hyper militarisation of our citizenry, as a result, has compromised the standards of living for citizens, we do not have standards anymore,” said Ngoma.

“Will our government self-correct through reforms, re-engaging and re-building so that we see the independence of the judiciary.”

Speaking on the same topic, Sapes Trust director Ibbo Mandaza said the country is in a crisis following the military coup in 2017.

“The reality now comrades is that we have a military state and if you wanted to hide these facts what happened since November 2017 is a resemblance that we have been having a military state since the year 2000,” said Mandaza.

“The coup of 2017 was administered by the military as they feared that ZANU PF will lose the election, so what we have is a deepening crisis. It cannot be that the government don’t want to reform, it is simple to me that they are unable and this is why when you win as government, you stay in power by force.

“Clearly what needs to be done is placing the citizenry at the centre of the process but to do so, we need to define the alternatives which must be both political and economic,” said Mandaza.

In addition, a social activist Brian Kagoro said citizens have to go back to collective ways as political parties lack political programmes.

“Go back to the collective ways, deal with cooperatives, I believe that if these are broadened they can deal with unemployment issues and retract youths from being subjected to these patriotic political thieves,” said Kagoro.

“The logistic of social struggle is an important issue, we cannot have people thinking hope is a strategy, hope is not a strategy.

“Political parties do not have a political programme, a rally, demonstration, door to door campaign and clean up campaigns are not a political programme. As citizens let us just go back to collective ways as we are the elites.”

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