Habakkuk Trust has kick-started the sector based Think Tanks with members of the community converging to discuss pertinent issues pertaining to the content of the Constitution. Present in the first think tank of 26 January 2010 were members of the Action Team members and representatives from churches who convened to discuss Arms of the State, Executive Organs of the State and Systems of Government.
Participants stressed the need for a new order that will ensure that there is proper devolution of power that will entail local people getting control of local resources. They also agreed that there should be provincial legislatures to enable legislatures to be in touch with the people. “Sikhathele ngokwenzelwa izinto yiHarare kasiphiwe lathi amandla okuzibambela okwethu” reiterated Masibonge Ncube from Entumbane. (We are fade up with the centralized system where the capital, Harare, controls everything. We should be given powers to run our own affairs).
Another participant stressed the need for the security services like the Army, the Police and the Central Intelligence Organisation to report directly to parliament instead of reporting to the presidency. This they said will help to protect the security of the civilians than that of individuals in power.
Reverend Sibindi pointed out that there should be clear mechanisms for government to
report back to the people instead of the one-way upward information flow that exists now.
Another issue of interest during the Think Tank was the presidential term of office. Participants consented that the term of office for the president should be two terms of five years.
The Habakkuk Trust Programmes Manager Miss Belinda Gumbo explains that there will be a series of Think Tanks targeting various community interest groups in preparation for the COPAC Constitutional Outreach programme. She also explained that the Think Tanks come in as a vital tool to mobilize the community to start thinking critically on the contents of the constitution so that when the Outreach Teams come, there will be informed contributions.
Today (27 January 2010) there will be another Think Tank targeting the Youth sector and themes to be discussed are the Youth and Empowerment and the Bill of Rights.