December, 2017. A coalition of civil society groups, representing Zimbabwe’s leading religious bodies, labor and human rights organizations, women, youth and disabilities movements, Media associations, students and more have come together to advance democratic reforms at this historic moment in Zimbabwe’s history. Calling themselves the National People’s Convention, their new effort is to launch a National Envisioning Process, which seeks to rally together citizens of Zimbabwe to make the most of the opening of the democratic space in Zimbabwe.
The Peace Appeal and our partners have been working with one of the lead organizers in this effort, the Zimbabwean Council of Churches (“ZCC”) whose General Secretary attended the Third Conference on National Dialogues in Helsinki in April. Plans for advancing inclusive dialogue in anticipation of elections in 2018 were accelerated with the dramatic developments leading to the resignation of Mugabe last month.
In the last few weeks, four gatherings have been convened in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, as well as the cities Bulawayo and Mutare. As the year comes to a close, organizers are developing a long term structured initiative to galvanize public participation in developing a cohesive vision for the nation both in advance of next year’s elections and to continue over the next several years.