Community Development Politics

Everyone must be protected through democracy: UZA

UZA members

By Nhau Mangirazi

The United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) has called on respect for human rights and the protection of every citizen through democracy.

In a statement commemorating the International Day of Democracy on 15 September, UZA challenged leaders in governments around the world to support and invest in inclusive societies where different opinions are embraced and where freedom of expression is guaranteed.

‘‘UZA joins Zimbabwe and the rest of the world on Democracy Day. The International Day of Democracy serves as an opportunity for us to reflect and take stock of our journey in fulfilling the basic tenets of democracy. As UZA, we do not tolerate any form of discrimination. In a democracy, state institutions and the other arms of government will be independently espousing the basic tenets of human rights,’’ reads the statement.

It further says the day also gives Zimbabwean office bearers and citizens the platform to reflect on and renew their support of democracy.

‘‘The day of democracy gives us all the commitment to building equal, accountable, stronger, and healthier societies where everyone is protected, respected, and empowered to realise their maximum potential for development. The UZA values International Day of Democracy,’’ reads the statement.

‘‘We celebrated the end of colonial rule in 1980, as it promised to return power to the hands of those elected by the people. The recognition that women are equal players politically is also appreciated and our party values the role of women as voters and political office bearers.

‘‘As we look back on this important day our party believes that while progress has been made to ensure adherence to a democratic system of rule, more needs to be done to ensure that citizens realise the full benefits of a democratic state. Equally important is the role of youth. We believe that Zimbabwe’s young people will have the deciding vote in the 2023 general elections. Our youth must realise that they are the drivers of change in our nation. They must know that change will come but this will only be possible if they, as citizens participate fully as voters and candidates,’’ says the statement.

Established through a resolution passed by the UN General Assembly in 2007 encouraging governments to strengthen and implement policies and measures that consolidate democracy, the day is celebrated annually on 15 September.

Locally, section 67 of the Constitution sets out political rights for every citizen, stating that every Zimbabwean has the right to make a political choice freely.

It also guarantees every Zimbabwean equal right to fully participate in elections as candidate.

‘‘Our party supports a politically plural Zimbabwe espousing constructive engagement of all political parties in good governance.
This is why we as UZA, don’t spend time denigrating other political parties. We bring to Zimbabwe a different political agenda and a clear mandate to unite Zimbabweans and build our country which has historically been ruined by divisive politics for the past two decades. On this day, we are also calling on other existing political parties to desist from creating division in our nation and ensure inclusive democracy where every citizen’s political rights are respected, protected, and guaranteed. UZA comes at a time when Zimbabwe is in dire need of new leadership with a unifying approach to politics,’’ says the statement.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende