By Mary Taruvinga
TRANSFORM Zimbabwe president Jacob Ngarivhume, who organised the world famous #31July Movement last year, has petitioned the parliament to expeditiously implement electoral reforms and address the issue of human rights violation urgently or face mass street protests.
Ngarivhume, together with Diana Saungweme, Lilian Chipati, Takaruza Tangai and Farai Muridzo handed the petition to the speaker of parliament Wednesday evening demanding a response by the 1st of next month or they will embark on demonstrations.
This comes just over a year after the Transform Zimbabwe leader was caged for over a month on allegations of inciting the public to demonstrate against the government over continued rights violation.
Ngarivhume’s proposed demonstration last year coincided with an online campaign dubbed #ZimbabweanLivesMatter which later drew international and regional attention.
Renowned celebrities and politicians all took a stand in support of the people of Zimbabweans through the #ZimbabweanLivesMatter campaign.
This however culminated in the arrest of other activists including job Sikhala and journalist Hopewell Chin’ono among others.
In the present petition seen by Newzimbabwe.com dated August 18 2021, the group said it is powered by the constitution to petition the parliament.
They are concerned about the shortcomings in the country’s electoral laws and its lack of alignment with the constitution of Zimbabwe, and the slow pace of substantive electoral reforms.
They are also alarmed by the high levels of corruption in public and private sectors and the failure by the government to end the scourge and also distressed by the ongoing rampant violations of human rights including children rights.
“Now therefore, the petitioners beseech the parliament of Zimbabwe to take immediate measures to uphold the constitution by ensuring that the rule of law is respected, electoral laws are amended to ensure a level electoral field, that all human rights are protected, including children’s rights, that corruption cases are speedily investigated and prosecuted without delay,” reads their petition.
It further reads, “The parliament of Zimbabwe, being the highest legislative authority in the land, is mandated to oversee the promotion of good governance and the upholding of the constitution. We demand urgent electoral reforms to level the electoral field and ensure the holding of credible, free and fair elections. We demand comprehensive measures to end rampant corruption and bring all perpetrators to justice. We demand measures to uphold human rights, especially children’s rights to end the scourge of child marriages across the country.”
“The parliament of Zimbabwe should respond to this petition within two weeks of receipt, by the 1st of September 2021, failure of which will see the 31st July Movement undertake peaceful national protests in line with the provisions of the constitution of Zimbabwe.”