Musasa Project okays new draft

HARARE - The draft constitution is a better devil than the current Lancaster House charter, a local women’s coalition has said.

Musasa Project, a local women’s action and coalition group have said despite the chapters they are not satisfied with in the new draft constitution, they are going to vote “Yes” in the upcoming constitutional referendum.

“As women we are excited about the draft as it has tried to address the plight of Zimbabwean women, our vote is a definite Yes,” said Tariro Tandi, advocacy and legal officer at Musasa Project.

Addressing a press briefing on the “Women and Peace”conference in the capital last week, Tandi said the draft highlights a milestone in the battle by women for equality.

She said the “Women and Peace” conference is aimed at promoting peace during the upcoming referendum and elections to eliminate sexual violence against women and girls.

The conference would be held on Thursday and Friday.

“Half a loaf is better than nothing, a consensus is a difficult outcome and we are satisfied with the way the draft has come out, so as women at the conference we will be discussing ways to end sexual violence” she said.

Musasa has now joined hands with other civic organisations like Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) who have endorsed the draft constitution as they are all demanding a referendum and new constitution.

“In my view it is but wise to vote ‘Yes’ in the coming referendum as we all know that the devil we know is better than the one that we do not know.

“A ‘No’ vote is likely to derail efforts of addressing the bread and butter issues that are affecting us as a people and women,” Tandi said.

She called on the Government of National Unity (GNU) to refrain from encouraging violence in the wake of the upcoming election.

Tandi said violence stifles economic growth as women are major drivers of the economy, and government must fight to promote the gains achieved by the GNU.

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