The Pan-African Civil Society Alliance working on the African Governance Architecture (AGA) through the “Mobilizing Civil Society Support for Implementation of the African Governance Architecture Project” also known as the Africa We Want Project has lauded the ratification of the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG), by the government of Zimbabwe.
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African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), the integral instrument guiding the implementation of AGA, was adopted during the 8th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly in 2007 and came into force in 2012. The Charter enshrines African shared values on good governance, accountability and democracy, the rule of law, and respect for fundamental human rights. Others include the conduct of free credible elections, opposing unconstitutional changes of governments as well as guaranteeing the rights and participation of vulnerable social groups – women, youths, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities – in governance and decision-making.
“The Pan-African Civil Society Alliance working on the Africa We Want project welcomes the ratification of the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG) in Zimbabwe as a major boost towards consolidating electoral democracy, accountability and good governance,” says a press statement by the Alliance.
According to the statement, “The Senate [had] on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, passed a resolution approving the ACDEG in terms of section 327 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe after the National Assembly of Zimbabwe had ratified it a week earlier, on March 19. The ratification was followed by the signing of the Charter by President Emmerson Mnangagwa a year ago, on March 21, 2018.”
“The signing and subsequent ratification of the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG) within a year, demonstrates the commitment of the political leadership of Zimbabwe to institutionalize frameworks for democracy, elections and governance. The ratification also, reflects the crucial role interest groups, pressure groups and civil society organizations including ActionAid Zimbabwe [had] been playing in ensuring democracy and development,” the statement added.
Action Aid Zimbabwe and the Pan-African Civil Society Alliance commended President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the National Assembly of Zimbabwe, Senate of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and all other groups that contributed in the ratification of the ACDEG. The coalition however, called on Mnangagwa, the Senate and the National Assembly of Zimbabwe, and all other relevant state authorities to take quick and concrete steps toward domesticating the Charter as well as to ensure the requisite political and legislative reforms in the electoral process and governance.
“The Pan-African Civil Society Alliance further urges the government of Zimbabwe to come up with clear and accessible timelines in ensuring the domestication of the Charter and reforms in the electoral and governance processes, and as well demonstrate its commitment to reporting on the Charter,” the statement concluded.