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Opinion: Zimbabwe People’s Charter

In a recent paper, I argued that Zimbabwe’s problems cannot be resolved until credible attempts have been made to define the Zimbabwe problem. Following that, I defined the Zimbabwe problem to be greed (for Money, Wealth and Power) and proposed that this problem can be solved through the redistribution of disproportionate money wealth and power.

In this paper I present the Zimbabwe Charter draft as a more concrete framework to resolve the Zimbabwe problem.

Here is the 20 item draft Charter which is not only an answer to the Zimbabwe problem but hopefully a tool for us to reclaim our nationhood.

  1. All Zimbabwe national army personnel above the age of 60 years must be retired with immediate effect and not to be replaced until the size of the army is 50 % of what it was in November 2017; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  2. All A2 farm owners must be resident at their farms and must not to be in full time employment elsewhere; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  3. The country must debate and set A2 farm sizes to ± 150 arable Hectares in regions 1-3, the first 150 hectares surrounding farmhouse must be offered to the owner before the land redistribution; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  4. All A2 farms that have not been utilised to full capacity in the last 10 years must be immediately reallocated but with preference given to people with traceable previous commercial farming experience regardless of their race; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  5. No-one should own residential municipal land exceeding 20 hectares Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  6. 99 % annual taxation must be charged on the market value of all valuable domestic movable and immovable property that exceed 4 municipal houses and cars; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  7. Monthly bedroom tax must be charged on all house rooms in exceeding 15 unless if the property is registered and operating as a business with auditable tax returns; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  8. All beneficiaries of the war victim’s compensation fund must be reassessed by an independent organization. Funds inappropriately disbursed must be repaid in US$ or equivalent in both movable and immovable property; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  9. All property lost through the indigenisation policies or other means other than a fair market exchange must be returned to its original owners by those who either stole it or benefited by other means; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  10. 99% income tax must be charged on a fraction of salaries or wages that exceed US$60 000 per annum backdated to 2009. US$60 000 is 10 times more than the amount required to support a family of 5; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  11. Constitutional amendment must follow constitutional enactment procedures; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  12. All (past & present) donations or payments made to churches, faith and traditional healers must be refundable when demanded by donor/payer at any time; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  13. Compulsory employment of all skilled and qualified disabled people by all Zimbabwe stock exchange listed companies in proportion to their market capitalization; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  14. Multiple directorship of public listed companies and other corporations with an annual turnover that exceeds US$1 million must be banned; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  15. Traditional leadership i.e. chiefs and headman must be subject to elections every 10 years; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  16. All university degrees awarded by unregistered foreign & local universities and honorary degrees awarded by Zimbabwean Universities after year 2000 must be respectively invalidated and withdrawn; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  17. The Chihambakwe commission Gukurahundi report and the Entumbane report written by Justice Dumbutshena must be publicised in-order to allow victims to decide appropriate reparation; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  18. A conditional grant must be paid to the elderly (over 65 years); orphans, unemployed disabled and all inhabitants of region 5 regardless of citizenship 5 years after the 1923 general elections Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  19. Zimbabwe insurance companies must be compelled to comply with the Justice Smith commission which established that they owe pensioners US$4 billion which they have refused to pay-out; Edit by whatsapp : Edit online
  20. No one should participate in 2023 elections unless if 2 conditions are met; (1) Compulsory voting by all Zimbabweans over the age of 18 (2) Displaced Zimbabweans in the diaspora must be allowed to vote: Edit by whatsapp : Edit online

The Zimbabwe Charter draft which I shared in this paper is based on my own ideas as a concerned Zimbabwean, but the charter can only become a people’s charter if Zimbabwe’s silent majority or all the people who are not enjoying the fruits of political independence participate in its construction.

To participate, please visit www.zimcharter.com where you can edit a single draft charter item or propose a new charter item via whatsapp or online. If the website is not working, it means it has been hacked as it always has been in the past but in time, this will be resolved permanently.

After a few months, all contributions will be evaluated manually and through qualitative data analysis software, and consolidated into a maximum of 20 concrete, actionable demands, which will then be taken to our political leaders represented by ZANU PF and MDC.

Some will rightly argue that this would be pointless because the 63 years’ combined experience of ZANU PF and MDC as political leaders is what destroyed this nation.

Firstly, I would agree that our country which was once a breadbasket of Southern Africa did not become a basket case by accident, but under the 41 year rule of ZANU PF and over 22 years of the MDC as an alternative government.

Secondly, I would also argue that if we demonstrate unity by successfully delivering the proposed charter, it means that in the event that ZANU PF and MDC fail to convince us that they are capable of implementing the Charter, we can quite easily become the new politics that this nation requires.

Before I conclude, I want us to be clear that the silent majority are people who never gained freedom from the Zimbabwe 1980 political independence.

If you’re unemployed, you’re not free

If you don’t have a house, and yet a chosen few live in 50 bedroomed mansions with bullet proof windows, you’re not free

If you cannot afford education while politicians send their children to overseas universities, you’re not free

If your local hospital has become a place where sick people go to die while political leaders hire private jets to visit their doctors overseas at the expense of tax payers, you’re not free

If you’re drinking water that smells of sewage, you’re not free

If you go to bed hungry or wondering where your next meal is going to come from, you’re not free

If you risk being jailed or being shot in the back for protesting, you’re not free

If you live in fear of being abducted and sexually assaulted by people who are paid to protect you, you’re not free

It is now over twenty one years since Gibson Sibanda uttered the mortal words, “for how long shall we wait for the biblical Moses to deliver us” but still, Zimbabweans are waiting, even though it is as clear as daylight, the country does not yet have a Moses.

For a country without an anchor or higher level of common belonging, our Moses, should be an idea or a cause that we can all converge on as a nation, not a messiah without a message nor plan.

When I wrote an academic article which mildly criticised the Zimbabwe leadership (political, religious and civic) I was stalked online and physically by suspected state security agencies who tracked and found me in rural Pretoria where not even my own family and best friend knew where I was. I have the name, address and car registration number of one of the suspected male security agent who attempted to hack into my computer network.

Accordingly it is not an exaggeration that I could get killed for this proposals but my hope is that the idea or concept behind it never dies.

I encourage Zimbabweans to popularise, critique and if found worthy, to adopt this initiative to the point that it belongs to all of us, in the process the only way the feared Zimbabwe security apparatus could silence it is by murdering all of us.

By virtue of participation in the construction of the Zimbabwe Charter, the silent majority shall bring forth a second political independence for our nation, for we are not free.

Dr Mike Chipere is a postdoctoral fellow affiliated with the Human Economy Program housed at University of Pretoria. Ideas expressed in this article are his and not representative of any organisation.

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