By Shylet Maposa
Citizens Manifesto announced the launch of a Citizen’s Cabinet which will give unprecedented collective national citizens’ voice on important matters affecting Zimbabweans with the goal to shape policy from the perspective of ordinary citizens.
Citizens Manifesto is a non-partisan convergence space for various organisations, movements, labour, civil society, the church and ordinary citizens bound together by love and a common vision.
Addressing a press statement in Harare today Janet Zhou spokesperson of Citizen Manifesto said, “a collective voice of citizens is needed now, more than ever, given the accelerated pace of top-down policy prescriptions by government that marginalizes citizens and result in pain and suffering for the majority”
Briggs Bomba, Citizens Manifesto Convenor also said, “The citizen’s cabinet will reflect a diversity of voices and will pioneer radically democratic and innovative models of engaging citizens and building solutions from bottom up”
“The citizen’s cabinet will use technology to crowdsource citizen’s views nationally to put forward concrete people-centred policy alternatives and will serve as a vehicle for concerted campaigns to ensure that citizens’ demands find expression in progressive new policy formulation that benefits the people”, he added.
According to Citizens’ Manifesto devolution of power is a core-principle of the national Citizens’ cabinet thus the cabinet will actively promote the establishment of Provincial Citizens’ Councils that will discuss local issues and champion a local policy agenda to inform national discourse guided by the local reality and priorities.
Respective portfolio leads of the citizen’s cabinet are designated based on thematic and technical know-how, however, deliberations will be guided by a radically participatory approach, collective thinking and unprecedented citizen consultations.
He furthered said, “The operations of the citizen’s cabinet shall be characterised by participatory democracy and diversity of voices reflecting a living and dynamic movement and will draw expertise from a network of professional and patriotic Zimbabwe locally and in diaspora”