Thursday, March 24, 2011

September referendum for constitution

by AFP-Staff Reporter

 ZIMBABWE’S draft constitution is only expected to be ready for a referendum by September and not in June as originally scheduled, the Constitutional Affairs minister said Thursday.
The new constitution is meant to clear the way for fresh elections following the country's bloody 2008 polls, but the drafting process is running months behind after public outreach meetings were repeatedly postponed over outbreaks of violence.
"I do not see us going to referendum earlier than September this year," Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga said.
Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, chairman of the Parliamentary Constitutional Committee (COPAC), said they had completed a process of uploading data collated during the outreach programme.
The data, from some 4,856 meetings held countrywide, has been stored on a computer database called Codaca V1.
“The Codaca database contains records of all the meetings conducted during the outreach phase of the constitution making process. This data is backed up on laptops and on audio and video recorders.
“All the data compiled by Copac has been stored in very secure locations to ensure that it is not tampered with in any way.”
The next step, he said, was for thematic committees to sit, analyse the data and write reports. That work should be complete by the end of March, he added.
Mangwana said drafters would start their work after the compilation of the thematic reports in early April.
“These drafters will be recruited on the basis of their expertise and knowledge of constitutional issues. They will package the data to form the draft constitution for Zimbabwe. This process should take about one month to complete.”
Mangwana said the draft would then be presented to a second all stakeholders’ conference for discussion.
He insists meeting the September deadline would depend on the availability of resources.
“We have lost one month but we still think it is possible for September because when we came up with the date we had already incorporated possible delays,” he said.
Veteran President Robert Mugabe has said Zimbabwe should push ahead with elections even if the parties to the country's shaky power-sharing government fail to agree on a new constitution.
But his rivals, including the visionary and firebrand Minister of Industry and Commerce President Welshman Ncube and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, insist that elections in 2011 are unlikely to result in a credible outcome.

Monday, March 21, 2011

MDC withdraws from Speaker Election Race


The MDC(Movement For democratic Change) party led by Prof Welshman Ncube has dropped out of the Speaker of Parliament election race, it has emerged.
A statement issued Monday stated to the effect that the party’s National Standing Committee met on Sunday 20th of March 2011 and resolved that it would abstain from the election of the Speaker of Parliament.
According to the resolution, this move has been inspired by what the party termed ‘the sad political developments in the Government of National Unity where Zanu PF and MDC-T have demonstrated to be in conspiracy against our party in undermining the democratic submissions from our party.’

The party statement concluded:“We believe that because this election process involves the political leaders (Members of Parliament) whose principals have shown total disregard of the democratic results in the past it would be futile to participate in such a process thus we chose to abstain.
The party shall always remain committed to the struggle for democratic space in the country, the fight for the adoption of democratic governance principles will always be our priority so that we root out evils of dictatorship and pseudo-democrats.”

MDC campaign Rally prohibited

HITUNGWIZA - Zimbabwean police on Sunday prohibited the MDC led by Prof Welshman Ncube  from campaigning for the upcoming presidential election in Chitungwiza. Riot police violently ejected MDC supporters from the Unit L Hall just after the arrival of Ncube and the party's top leadership. Despite remonstrations by the MDC, police ordered everyone to disperse. This election therefore cannot be free and fair, says MDC Youth Assembly spokesperson Discent Collins Bajila.
After almost 31 years in power, President Robert Mugabe, 87, is making every effort to stay in power. His brutal crackdown on the opposition includes implicit government approval of violence against opposition activists and use of the largely partisan top echelons of the police force to scilence any dissent.
His actions have been widely condemned by the international community. MDC spokesperson Kurauone Chohwayi said : "People have been beaten, others hospitalised and our deputy organising secretary Laison Mushonga has been arrested."
Mushonga was arrested after taking pictures of riot police beating up MDC supporters. Mugabe has mobilised boisterous youth, similar to the Hitler Youth, to support his Zanu PF party.
The MDC blamed the police of disrupting its meetings and rallies in advance of the upcoming presidential elections. It said ruling party militants, including youth militias, have already disrupted its campaign rallies in Harare.
Under draconian security laws, police must be informed of arrangements for rallies four days in advance. Collaboration between police and official youth service members gave militants enough time to plan disruptions and intimidate residents in areas around rally venues, according to the MDC.

source: The Zimbabwean

Saturday, March 19, 2011


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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Can the MDC-T be trusted?

WHEN the inclusive government was formed in February 2009, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai promised civil servants that he would pay them in hard currency of their choice. He criticised the idea of paying government workers in vouchers.

To some of us who had worked closely with Tsvangirai from his time in the labour movement up to the formation of the MDC in 1999, were never convinced; we knew his limitations. Come month end, the workers were given allowances of US$100 instead of real salaries.

To be frank, the workers were patient enough and continued to work although the Zesa, TelOne and water tariffs were gobbling all their allowances.
To make matters worse, although Tsvangirai has executive powers as enshrined in the global political agreement and is in charge of all ministers and policy formulation in the country, nothing was done to force Zesa, TelOne and “city fathers” to reduce the tariffs to affordable levels.

Instead at a political rally, dubbed “The Lecture Series” at Small City hall in Bulawayo in December 2009, Tsvangirai rudely told his audience that there is nothing for “mahala”. He said, in Shona: “Hapana chemahara, chamahara kudziya mushana chete.”

This was after Nust students and residents had complained about the high tuition fees at institutes of higher learning and high tariff charges. He explained that the fees were firstly pegged at US$9 000 and then reduced to about US$3 000. Truly speaking, can a civil servant earning roughly US$180 pay US$3 000 fees for his / her child? It is really ridiculous.

Earlier on last year Tsvangirai’s proxy spokesman Professor John Makumbe told another gathering at Rainbow Hotel — organised by MDC-T’s sister organisation, Bulawayo Agenda  — that come June 2009 all civil servants would get decent salaries, courtesy of his MDC-T party. Is US$180 a decent salary?

What is also surprising is the fact that the ministers of the Public Service (Eliphas  Mukonoweshuro), Energy (Elias Mudzuri),  Information Communication Technology  (Nelson Chamisa), and Labour (Paurina Mpariwa) all come from the prime minister’s party.

Again the MDC-T won council election in most urban centres in the country, and their 20 to 30 year-old “city fathers” feel that gold has been found in local authorities and are now scrambling to fleece them of their meagre resources. What a shame.

They do not know that being a councillor is a part-time job not full employment. Even their ceremonial mayors think that they are full-time employees, yet theirs is part-time work.
They now start work at 7.30am and dismiss at 4.30pm to get more allowances. It is really embarrassing to say the least. Tribalism is also the order of the day. They are openly saying that it is time for them to eat with their tribesmen!

I shudder to think what would be of Zimbabwe today had MDC-T won the 2008 harmonised elections.
It is only one year of the inclusive government, but the level of corruption, nepotism and tribalism shown by the MDC-T is already scary.
Imagine a government minister employing a son and his father into the same ministry. Is that not nepotism, if not corruption? Were those jobs advertised, especially the father’s job which is critical to the people of Matabeleland’s lives?

The prime minister embarks on a party political tour and pretends it’s a government tour to assess food security in Matabeleland and the Midlands. He thinks that we are intellectual dwarfs.
We saw him going around Lupane with one of his henchmen, Njabuliso Mguni, the ex-MP who was fired by the MDC for indiscipline.
Is Tsvangirai telling us that Mguni is now the governor of Matabeleland North, or provincial/ district administrator? My understanding is that when on government business, the prime minister should be accompanied by the governor, provincial administrator, an elected MP or a senator for the area.

It is a shame that the prime minister of the country embarks on selfish party business masquerading as a government premier.

Whilst we accept that there should be change, the MDC-T is not the change the country wants. It’s like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Madluphuthu Khumalo is a political analyst based in Bulawayo.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mugabe, Tsvangirai: UK's 'men in Harare'

THAT Robert Mugabe remains in power after slaughtering 20,000 Zimbabweans and collapsing a booming economy to dust is an irony whose insult cannot continue to be ignored.

The monumental falsehood that Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for thirty years only by his employment of violence and his tyrannical steel must be confronted. The role of Britain, Zimbabwe’s former colonial power, and the Movement of Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-Tsvangirai) in keeping Mugabe in power must urgently be exposed.
Behind the curtain of British pretence and MDC-T posturing, Mugabe’s service to Britain in securing British economic interests in Zimbabwe in the early 1980s is still being well appreciated. So the myth that the courageous and heroic peasants of Zimbabwe who defeated British colonialism are failing to defeat a dictatorship must be urgently exploded, and world opinion must be informed accurately that Mugabe continues to lord himself over Zimbabwe thanks to the elites in the MDC-T and in Britain.
First, it is important for all who care about the future of Zimbabwe to understand that a huge fraction of Mugabe’s crimes against humanity that he committed, he executed with British approval and support, if not blind or quiet diplomacy.
When Mugabe sent troops to Matabeleland and the Midlands in the 1980s, Britain maintained a loud silence as people were slaughtered like goats at Christmas. The elite in Britain were actually happy that Joshua Nkomo and PF-Zapu, who were bent on nationalising the land and the mines in which the British had interests, were being suppressed. It is no accident the Margaret Thatcher, the then Prime Minister of Britain, referred to Mugabe as “our man in Harare”.
After the genocide, the Queen of England visited Zimbabwe in 1991. Three years later, she met Mugabe for tea at Buckingham Palace and bestowed him the prestigious knighthood of the order of Bath. Not only that, but Perence Shiri, the king-pin of the army operation in Matabeleland, was honoured in Britain with a scholarship to the Royal College of Defence Studies. It is as clear as the sky that Mugabe and Britain come a very long way in the service of each other.
Only around 1999, when the British started showing an interest in Morgan Tsvangarai and the MDC-T by funding them did Mugabe resort to fixing the British, by seizing their farms and making moves at nationalising the mines which he had earlier safely secured for the British farmers and miners.

Only when Mugabe started slaughtering white commercial farmers did the British start seeing dictatorship and human rights abuses in their “man In Harare”. Suddenly, Mugabe was an evil man and the British made sure the whole world saw him through this prism, from then on. That said, I would like to observe that Mugabe and the British elite remain separated but not divorced.
There must not be any doubt that both Mugabe and Tsvangarai are British “men in Harare.” In truth, the MDC-T was created and sponsored by the British not to replace Mugabe and Zanu PF but to irritate, annoy and or frighten them into renewing their vows with London. I have no doubt the British will be happier with a reformed Zanu PF in power than the MDC-T, a party which they are happy to use as their spoilt pressure group whose job is to frown at and at best disturb and keep Zanu PF on their toes and not eliminate them.
That the MD-TC and Tsvangarai’s deep-down appointed missions is to pressurise and not topple Zanu PF and Mugabe is demonstrated in how the MDC-T- and its leader are not willing to confront Mugabe and Zanu PF at their capital crime -- which is genocide in Matabeleland. Tsvangarai has never challenged Mugabe on Gukurahundi, and the slaughter of twenty thousand people. He has been very loud on Murambatswina, the economic meltdown and the humanitarian crisis, and the reason is clear -- Mugabe unleashed Gukurahundi when Tsvangarai and more than half of his ministers were still loyal cadres in Zanu PF ranks and they shared in the operation whose objective was to crash Nkomo and PF-Zapu. The plan was to stop them from their intended nationalisation of the land, the mines and the factories in Zimbabwe that they were resolved on doing.
In fact, it cannot be an exaggeration that Tsvangarai has a lot of respect if not fear for Mugabe whom he has openly called his hero. At the end of the day, contrary to contemporary and popular opinion, Tsvangirai is too much of a child of Zanu PF and a loyalist of Mugabe to subject him to the full wrath of a revolution.
There have been two incidents where Morgan Tsvangarai led the MDC-T away from Armageddon with Zanu PF and Mugabe. After the 2000 elections which everyone in and outside Zimbabwe agreed were clearly rigged in favour of Mugabe and Zanu PF, Tsvangarai responded by announcing that “we will consult” on the way forward instead of providing revolutionary leadership that the moment demanded to push Mugabe out of office.
In 2009, when Mugabe clearly lost and delayed announcing results for a whole month, Tsvangarai stayed at home until Mugabe gained confidence to insist on a run-off which Tsvangarai politely boycotted, allowing “my hero” to declare himself the winner and forcing everyone into talks that led to the current unity government that has strengthened Zanu PF even more.
Tsvangarai is willing to oppose Mugabe with his sweat, and not with his blood. Mugabe will for now remain in office even after the coming elections as long as Zimbabweans and the international community still believe Tsvanagrai and the MDC-T are genuinely resolved on replacing Zanu PF in government.
The truth must actually be exposed, that Tsvangirai and the MDC-T are beneficiaries of Gukurahundi politically. The Matabaleland vote that the MDC-T is guaranteed of and actually takes for granted is actually Tsvangarai’s harvest of the fruits of Gukurahundi. The hatred and anger that the people of Matabeleland have for Mugabe because of Gukurahundi guarantees Tsvangarai their vote. It is unfortunate that the people of Matabeleland do not understand yet that on Gukurahundi, Mugabe and Tsvangarai are inseparable comrades.
It is not even a joke that the British themselves celebrated the crushing of the Ndebele people through Gukurahundi because they still have not forgiven the Ndebele for the trouble they gave British settlers in 1893. It is also known history that even the then settlers claimed they had to use the Maxim gun against Ndebele impis to protect the Shona people from marauding Ndebele warriors. There has been an enduring British and Zanu PF agenda to settle a score with the Ndebele from times past.
The reason why Julius Malema and others still believe that Mugabe is a protector of African economic and political interests is that the MDC-T and others have not done their homework, or in fact it is not their appointed task to expose Mugabe’s phoney Pan-Africanism and hollow nationalism that is punctuated with massgraves and cemented by his loyal service in securing British economic interests in Zimbabwe.
The MDC is opposed to true nationalism and Pan-Africanism and that is why popular MDC-T opinionators love to hate Arthur Mutambara and are quick to curse him as a Zanu PF agent when what he is trying to do is to return to the Zimbabwean spirit that defeated colonialism, and which must resist imperialism that Mugabe and Tsvangarai have so loyally served. Also adding to Mutambara’s troubles is his blindness to ethnicity whereas the elite in Zanu PF and the MDC-T are clear about where Ndebeles belong in Zimbabwean politically affairs.
In short, as things stand, Mugabe and Zanu PF may go by the force of gravity and not by the MDC-T and Morgan Tsvangarai. Zimbabweans who are so hungry for freedom have to think again on who and what will free them from “the men in Harare” because behind the thick curtain of British and MDC-T pretences lie enduring interests that make Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Britain servants of one cause.
Dinizulu Macaphulana is a student in Lesotho. He is contactable on e-mail

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Score not cheap political points

Buti Manamela, VIEWPOINT, ANC Today, Johannesburg, 4 March 2011
Two issues ago the ANC Today published an article by ANC Youth League Spokesperson, Comrade Floyd Shivambu which in our view fails to contribute qualitatively towards: (1) the national and internal alliance discourse on questions such as the role and unity of the alliance, (2) the role of the SACP and working class parties in South Africa and the world, (3) the autonomy of the communist youth movement within the revolution, and (4) the national growth path and seizure of economic power.
So what?
After careful reading of Cde Floyd's article, I asked myself: SO WHAT? This is because I had just read a small piece of factional propaganda that is extremely paranoid (such as "lies and conspiracies being spread against youth the forefront of the revolution" and extremely anti-communist). This is very unfortunate.
Yes, the youth were mobilised to overthrow Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Ben Ali in Tunisia. So what does this have to do with the so-called neo-liberal nature of the communist party lately or some adventure that Cde Floyd calls a revolution? Yes, the South African Communist Party's (SACP) initial reaction welcomed and fully backed the objectives of what? And what about the SACP's role in relation to GEAR going forward thereafter? Why is that revolutionary role downplayed? What are the intentions of that downplaying?
Yes, some youth leaders in their time and prime made an impact in participating in transforming society from oppression, imperialism and what - more so that there are other young leaders who either became a bag of cabbage or were used by leaders such as Hitler under a so-called National Socialism (read fascism, which ultimately inspired organisations such as the AWB).
The ANC is the leader of all forces towards the attainment of the main objectives of the National Democratic what does this have to do with the role of young people in Egypt' or any of the fantasies propagated by Cde Floyd?
There are also some matters of fact and of ideological inconsistency abused or scorned by Cde Floyd either to claim easy victories and score cheap political points, or to bestow solely the tasks of our current revolution to himself and some within the ANC Youth League in order for them to be in the hall of fame as mentioned in the extract from Cde Malema's Political Report to the last ANC Youth League National General Council.
These matters of fact and ideological inconsistency relate to what we mean by autonomy and whether a stratum or a class can drive revolutions. Even the word revolution is itself abused as a single action by the youth in having participated in activities that led to the resignations of Mubarak and Ben Ali in Egypt and Tunisia.
Eyes closed
I raise these points as the main pillars of the article by Cde Floyd because each time he advances a point to justify his factional and anti-communist rhetoric he closes his eyes before the truth, and then proceeds to another dreary pontificating. Let's take each in turn.
Firstly, elementary political education teaches us that revolutions happen when the revolutionary class overthrows the ruling class and assumes power. Importantly, revolutions are completed after destructing the old order" including the old state and when "revolutionaries help build a new state (and not just government) that adheres to the emerging social relationships. This is why we characterized ours as a breakthrough and a transition, not necessarily a revolution, and has since been implementing (regardless of disagreements of this or that tactic) the National Democratic Revolution (which is a process and not an event).
Without undermining the advances made by young people in Egypt, it is important to point out that the military (very much part of the state that has been and is still in place) they seized power and are in the process of determining the transitional rules (the constitution and election date) as a result of the breakthrough (the forced resignation of Mubarak). This, unlike what happened in our country in the late 80's and early 90's is not an inclusive process but a military-handled process.
The millions who filled the Tahir Square are not involved in the negotiations process towards the breakthrough, but the military council which seized power and the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is yet to fulfil the basic characteristics of a revolution, let alone Tunisia. This is introduction to political education that I expected Cde Floyd to appreciate since he refers to himself as a revolutionary (and is responsible for political education in the ANCYL).
To forget that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle" and to fragment the antagonistic classes in terms of age is the neglect of elementary political education.
The thrust of Cde Floyd's argument is that "it is the youth in South Africa and everywhere else that are the seed of the revolution" and not the working class or its party. Thus, he commits another negligence of the elementary political education in reducing the Party to the Class, and the ANCYL to the youth (strata). In doing this Cde Floyd conflates many misconceptions. In the first place you can't counter-pose "youth" (a generational category) and "class" as if we have to choose between them.
Cde Floyd also refers to militancy. In the second place, militancy and a revolutionary position are not necessarily and universally the same thing. Yes, young people are often in the forefront of militant democratic action (as we have recently seen in Tunisia and Egypt) - but militant action is not necessarily and inherently progressive or revolutionary. Demagogically mobilized youth have been the street-fighters on behalf of emergent fascist regimes in Germany and Italy, and martyrs on behalf of reactionary fundamentalist movements, mouthpieces and militants or youth militia of reactionary forces as partially indicated earlier.
Playboy lynched
Cde Floyd might also want to reflect on the fact that the prime target of popular revenge in Tunisia was a youthful playboy relative of the deposed President Ben Ali. This particular relative was lynched in the course of the uprising, and he was especially unpopular because of the extravagant parties that he threw, flaunting his wealth in a society beset with mass youth unemployment.
In the third place, Cde Floyds potted history tells us that revolutions are led by the youth Lenin was young in 1917, Fidel was young in 1959, etc. But Lenin in 1917 did not think of himself as a "youth" per se. His break with the Mensheviks was not based on a generational divide or ageism, but on principled ideological politics. Yes, Fidel was young in 1959. But did he cease being revolutionary as he grew older?
What about leaders who were more mature at the time of the revolutionary breakthrough in their countries, say, Ho Chi Minh? And what about those who led us to our 1994 revolutionary breakthrough - Mandela, Tambo, Sisulu, Slovo, Hani and so forth, who never ceased to be revolutionary once they had lived beyond their youth. In fact, when Mandela spoke about, for instance, nationalization as a policy that the ANC should advance, he was more than double the age of Cde Floyd and did not qualify to be called youth.
Of course, the youth question in our country and throughout, particularly, the Third World is of paramount importance. The capitalist agrarian revolution in the South is uprooting millions of former peasant households, leading to rapid and squalid urbanization and wage-less proletarianisation. The protracted global capitalist crisis (that dates back to at least the late 1990s) has further impacted on Third World workers and lower-middle strata. Unemployment, and particularly youth unemployment (a massive 74% in Egypt) is at crisis levels and the recent events in the Arab world need to be analyzed contextually and taken into consideration as well. Those bearing the brunt of the crisis are, essentially, working class youth - which is why it is so misguided to counterpose youth and workers.
It is also factually wrong to underestimate the critical role played by the employed and unionized working class in both Tunisia and Egypt. In the latter case, for instance, a general strike involving transport and other workers were central to the demise of Mubarak. Of course, we should also not assume that there would always be a spontaneous alliance between youth movements, and trade unions and left-wing parties. The relative defeat of the youth and student uprisings in France, Germany and Italy in 1968 is a case in point. By contrast, successful revolutions (as in Cuba) succeeded in uniting trade unions, the youth and student movements, the peasantry, a national movement and a communist party in a common programme of action.
An attempt to rewrite history
Also, selectively pointing out to the immediate reaction of the SACP towards GEAR as constituting neo-liberalism by the Party and judging its capacity to lead the working class towards a revolution constitute weak intellectual opportunism and an attempt to rewrite history.
Cde Floyd deliberately chooses to forget, young as he is and recent as the facts are, that it is the Party that came to characterise the pre-Polokwane internal ANC and Alliance crises as being caused by the 1996 class project. He also selectively forgets that immediately after that statement, the SACP has and still remain committed to opposing the macro-economic paradigm as imposed by GEAR.
It was the SACP that introduced the critique of neo-liberalism into our movement in the early 1990s, and from the middle of 1996 it was the SACP that LED a consistent struggle against GEAR. Of course Cde Floyd holds his breath when he is about to tells us about the role of prominent ANC YL leaders who, long after 1996, without exception supported GEAR and maliciously attacked the SACP and COSATU, portraying their anti-neoliberal stance as an "attack on the ANC".
The SACP has never regarded these mistakes by the ANCYL leadership as a reason to write off the ANCYL as "inherently neo-liberal". We cannot also say because in the first bilateral meeting between the ANC Youth League and the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) the former dismissed the latter's campaign for the expropriation of mines and free education as outdated and failed USSR socialism - then the ANCYL is neoliberal.
New Growth Path
The only current issue that Cde Floyd appears to disagree with the SACP on is its "general" support for government's New Growth Path. He is not interested in explaining why the SACP's "general" support for New Growth Path is wrong. He simply throws this and a whole lot of garbled potted history into the fray.
As a matter of fact, and not fictitious imagination, the SACP welcomed the tabling of the New Growth Path as marking a paradigm shift and resolved to deal with its details through a thoroughgoing internal process of consultation in order to respond comprehensively to the details. Cde Floyd's engagement is not a critical engagement with any particular perspective emanating from the SACP, or from comrades within the SACP, but an attack on the SACP in general.
Indeed in seeking to advance his half-baked anti-communism Cde Floyd begins to write off communist parties all over the place - whether in Venezuela in the present, or in Cuba prior to 1959, or Latin America over the past decades. The SACP and no doubt various other communist parties are not infallible. But the spirit of Cde Floyds piece is not to point out mistakes (real or imagined), but to factionally condemn the Party.
Obsessed with factional aggression
Instead of being obsessed with factional aggression against the SACP, let us focus on a militant programme of action that unites all our youth formations premised on the challenges of unemployment, and especially the crisis levels of youth unemployment in our society.
Finally, the youth-wing of the SACP, the YCLSA, remains committed to and is involved in practical programmes that raises the profile of the struggle that young people face. The YCLSA has overtime managed to ensure that some of these struggles are addressed in the immediate or long-term policy interventions are put in place to address them.
This year, for instance, the ANC-led government has prioritized jobs creation as central to its programme, targeting in particular youth unemployment. It is the YCLSA that invited more than 80 youth formations last year to discuss and make proposals on both the ideological, structural and socio-economic issues that causes unemployment. The Summit's resolutions characterized this as the crises of capitalism and the neo-liberal paradigm as adopted in the 1996 macro-economic policies.
The unity of these youth movement under the banner of the YCLSA has never been seen lately, and we never had to threaten people that we will ‘kick them out of office' or labeled them as this or that if they do not prioritise job creation. We opted to engage in what any ‘revolutionary youth formation' does before making empty violent or electoral threats - we engaged into a militant but yet qualitative debate and persuasion, and thus, we made progress.
Our popular demand for free education
There are many other things - including our popular demand for free education, now becoming a reality (when the then leadership of the ANC YL had dismissed this demand of the YCLSA as an unrealizable, communist pipedream); provision of free sanitary towels; the closure of shebeens next to schools and many others which we managed, the creation of a state bank, we are beginning to see movement in this regard. We can label these as reforms, but so is nationalization of mines, which are qualitative demands of a revolution in the making. And this revolution is through influence, and as Cde Floyd argued elsewhere (heaven knows where), "autonomy is elementary to the successes and extent of influence a youth movement can impact in a revolution"
For Cde Floyd to suggest that the YCLSA is "nowhere near being revolutionary, because it is not ideologically and politically autonomous" and to not further substantiate this justifies no further response except this. The YCLSA is a Marxist-Leninist formation of young people and it is the youth wing of the SACP that established it. Its conduct and perspectives are drawn out of a concrete analysis of concrete conditions. In this, both society and history are not static but require appropriate adjustments in accordance with constantly occurring change in the interest, not just of the youth, but "importantly of the working class.
We can only assume that for the YCLSA to justify being ideologically steadfast, consistent and fearless" in the eyes of the self-imposed revolutionaries means it has to shout empty slogans in the ears of the leadership of the SACP in order to catch the eager ears of newspaper sub-editors or to be seen to be involved in a sound-bite contest with the leadership of the SACP.
This is not the mettle of a revolutionary. Only true action - and not revolutionary sounding phrases not backed by results but by insults. That is not being "fearless or militant" it is merely seeking fame. We are not angels or saints, but so are most of the revolutionaries.

  • Buti Manamela is National Secretary of the Young Communist League of South Africa

Mhlanga charged with tribe hate crime

BULAWAYO playwright Styx Mhlanga, the younger brother of Cont Mhlanga, was arrested on Monday for allegedly “criticising a poem about heroes”, relatives said.

Mhlanga, a resident artist at the Bulawayo Art Gallery, was arrested after he passed judgement on a poem brought by an unnamed artist to an exhibition.
“Styx challenged the poet on why only liberation war heroes from Mashonaland, and none from Matabeleland, were highlighted in the poem. The poet apparently reported him to the police and he was arrested,” his brother, Mlungisi, said on Monday.
Bulawayo police spokesman Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo said he needed more time to check on details of Mhlanga’s detention on Monday evening.
But his brother said Styx, well-known among Matabeleland advocacy groups, had been told he faced a charge of “uttering words … with the intention to engender, promote or expose to hatred, contempt or ridicule ... a class of persons in Zimbabwe solely on account of their tribe.”
ZAPU spokesman Methuseli Moyo condemned Mhlanga’s arrest on Monday.
“The charges are clearly frivolous,” Moyo said. “Police are intent on clamping down on free speech, and those old enough to have witnessed Gukurahundi cannot fail to see similar patterns in the police conduct then and now.”
Last week, police rounded up activists from the Women of Zimbabwe Arise pressure group after they gathered at a house in Ntumbane suburb and expressed concern at the relocation of companies from Bulawayo to other provinces. The women also planned to stage demonstrations outside a local primary school which had raised “teacher incentives”.
Police charged them with “promoting public violence and bigotry”.
Last Friday, the former ZAPU leader Paul Siwela and three other men from the Mthwakazi Liberation Front – an advocacy group pushing for a separate Ndebele state -- were arrested and charged with treason.

Sunday, March 6, 2011



We the young people of the Republic of Zimbabwe;
Cherishing the legacy of selfless resistance to injustice left by our predecessors through heroic efforts from 1890 to 1980
Respectful of all who lost their lives in pursuit of independence, democracy and social justice at anytime in the history of Zimbabwe
Committed to the attainment of a plural, democratic, non discriminatory, non violent and prosperous society
Condemning the treacherous activities and tendencies of those who masterminded violence and tribalism and moved on to disregard the democratic decision of the MDC leading to its split on 12 October 2005
Mindful of the culture of plunder, natural resource abuse and disrespect of humanity inflicted upon our fellow countrymen by the successive Governments of the Rhodesian Front and the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front and the need to reverse such status quo,
Devoted towards the social, political and economic interests of young Zimbabweans
Pursuant of the attainment of the resolutions of the All Working People’s Convention of 26th to 28th February 1999
United behind the Movement for Democratic Change Youth Assembly
Do hereby adopt unto ourselves this constitution

Section 1: Name and Status
1.1 Our organisation shall be a political movement called the Movement for Democratic Change Youth Assembly abbreviated MDC Youth Assembly and hereinafter referred to as the Assembly
Section 2: Principles, Aims and Objectives
2.1 The assembly and its members shall uphold the principles of democracy, nonviolence, non discrimination, tolerance
2.2 The aims and objectives of the assembly shall be;
2.2.1 To mobilize young Zimbabweans to join the struggle for a democratic open society,
2.2.2 To fight for the equality of all young people against race, tribe, gender,
2.2.3 To reject and pursue the reduction of crime and eradication of abuse of women, children, drugs and alcohol,
2.2.4 To promote social recreational and cultural activities among young Zimbabweans,
2.2.5 To promote the development of an economy where it is possible and affordable for young Zimbabweans to learn, work and create employment and wealth for themselves and one another,
2.2.6 To organise and conscientise membership and other young Zimbabweans to participate in all struggles of popular suffrage
2.2.7 To be a political school for the MDC
Section 3: Relationship with MDC
3.1 The Assembly shall be a semi-autonomous movement which derives its existence from the MDC
3.2 The Assembly shall be a structure of the MDC responsible for mobilizing and grooming young Zimbabweans towards the aims and ideology of the MDC.
Section 4: Membership
4.1 Membership of the Assembly shall be open to;
a) Individual Zimbabweans between the ages of thirteen and thirty five who subscribe to the principles aims and objectives of the Assembly,
 b) Organisations and corporate bodies that subscribe to the principles, aims and objectives of the Assembly provided its membership meets the conditions set in 4.1(a)
4.2 Membership Application
4.2.1 Individual membership of the Assembly shall be attained through application by way of filling a form annexed in this constitution.
4.2.2 Associate membership shall be attained through application to the Secretary General of the Assembly by way of filling a form annexed in this constitution. The Secretary General shall issue a response to the application within fourteen days of receipt of application.
4.2.3 Application forms shall be found in all MDC and/or Assembly offices and filled forms shall be submitted to recruiting member for forwarding to the National Organising Secretary of the Assembly. At times fixed by designated structures and/or committees of the Assembly application forms may be accessed from recruiting agents of the Assembly which may include individual membership.
4.2.4 Upon filling and submission of the filled membership form an accepted member shall pay an annual subscription fixed by the Congress of the Assembly or such other structures as provided for in sections five and six of this constitution.
4.2.5 The Congress of the Assembly or such structures referred to in section 4.2.4 of this constitution may fix different subscription fees using criteria deemed fit
4.2.6 A paid up member shall be issued with a membership card which shall however remain property of the Assembly and might be retrieved with due process.
4.2.7 Membership of the Assembly shall be renewable annually
4.2.8 Members shall be allowed to subscribe for the membership of the MDC and the MDC Women’s Assembly provided they do not hold leadership positions in those structures.
4.3 Loss of Membership
4.4.1 Membership of the Assembly shall be lost in anyone or more of the following ways
a) Lapse of age as provided for in section 4.1a of this constitution
b) Dissolution of associate member organisation
c) Non-renewal of membership as provided for in section 4.3.7 of this constitution
d) Resignation through individual written notice addressed to the Secretary General of the Assembly stating reasons for taking such action
e) Expulsion by a structure of the Assembly with the authority to do so. A member may be expelled for putting the names of the Assembly and that of the MDC into disrepute and other reasons stated in sections 8 and 9 of this constitution.
f) Becoming a member of another organisation whose interests are competitive to those of the MDC and/or the Assembly
4.5 Responsibilities of membership
4.5.1 It shall be the responsibility of each member of the Assembly to
a) Mobilize other Zimbabweans to join the Assembly and where applicable the MDC
b) To participate in all elections contested by the MDC as voters campaigners and/or candidates of the MDC
c) To continuously increase their understanding and appreciation of social democracy, liberalism and nationalism and teach other citizens about the same,
d) To, regardless of position, belong to a branch of the Assembly to maintain constant participation in the Assembly’s activities
e) To defend the names and programmes of the MDC and the Assembly at all times
f) To attend to relevant MDC and Assembly meetings and contribute for the betterment of Zimbabwe and humanity at large
5. Organs of the Assembly
5.1 The Assembly shall have the following organs:
(a) The Congress
(b) The National Conference
c) The National Council
 (d) The Province
(e) The District
(f) The Ward
(g) The Branch
(h) External Assemblies

5.2 The Congress
5.2.1 The Congress shall be the supreme organ of the Assembly and shall be composed as follows:
(a) All members of the National Council;
(b) All members of the Provincial Executive Committees;
(c) The Chairperson, Secretary, Organising Secretary and Treasurer from each District Executive Committee;
(d) The Chairperson and Secretary of each Ward Executive Committee;
(e) The Chairperson and Secretary of each Branch Executive Committee
(f) The Chairperson, Secretary, Organising Secretary and Treasurer of each external Assembly
(g) All persons below the age of thirty five elected on an MDC ticket to the position of Minister, Deputy Minister, Member of Parliament, Member of the Provincial Legislature, Mayor , Councillor, and chairpersons of local Authorities.
5.2.2 The Congress shall meet once every five years, provided that an Extra-Ordinary Congress may be convened, at any time, in accordance with the provisions of this constitution
5.2.3 The functions and Powers of Congress shall be:
(a) To formulate the policies and principles of the Assembly;
(b) To supervise the implementation of policies, principles and programmes of the Assembly;
(c) Subject to section 5.4, to elect members of the National Council, save for those members referred to in section 5.4.2 (t)
 (d) To approve the audited financial statements of the Assembly and appoint or reappoint auditors;
(e) To repeal or amend the constitution
(f) To dissolve the Assembly in terms of this constitution
(g) To review, ratify, modify, alter or rescind any decision taken by any organ or official of the Assembly
5.2.4 (i) A notice convening the Congress shall be sent to all members entitled to attend and to each branch by the National council at least sixty days before the date of the Congress. In addition
(ii) The notice convening the Congress shall be published once in a Newspaper of national circulation, thirty days before the Congress.
5.2.5 An extra-ordinary Congress may be called:
(a) By a simple majority vote of the National Council or two thirds vote of the National Executive which vote shall be conducted by Secret ballot.
(b) Upon the written request received from at least one-third of the members entitled to attend the Congress submitted to the Secretary-General; or
(c) Upon the written request received from at least two-thirds of the Provincial Executive Committees submitted to the Secretary-General.
5.2.6 A notice convening the extra-ordinary Congress shall be sent to all members entitled to attend and to each branch by the National Council at least one month before the date of the meeting
5.2.7 The quorum of the Congress shall be two-thirds of the members entitled to attend, provided that if one hour after the stipulated time for commencement a quorum is not reached, the meeting will continue subject to decisions being approved by an extra-ordinary Congress called by the National Council within six months after Congress in question.
5.3 National Conference
5.3.1 There shall be a National Conference to be held bi-annually between Congresses, save in the year that a congress is held.
5.3.2 The National Conference shall be composed of:
(a) The National Council;
(b) All members of the Provincial Executive Committees;
© The President, Secretary General and five other members of the National Executive of affiliate student movements
(d) The Presidents and Secretary Generals of Student Representative Councils.
(e) The MDC Members of Parliament, Provincial Legislature, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, its mayors and Chairpersons of Local Authorities below the age of thirty five
(f) The Chairpersons, Secretaries, Organising Secretaries and treasurers of all external Assemblies
5.3.3 The functions of the National Conference shall be:
(a) To receive reports by the Assembly Secretaries on issues of National Policies and to review and update policies
(b) To review progress of Assembly programmes between Congresses;
(c) To fill any vacancy in National Council caused through resignation, death or other causes; and
(d) Do all things necessary for the furtherance of Assembly interests which do not conflict with the powers of Congress.
5.4 National Council
5.4.1 The National Council shall be the Assembly’s main policy implementing organ and shall have the authority to lead the organisation and execution of aims and objectives of the Assembly.
5.4.2 The Powers of the National Council Without prejudice to the generality of its powers, the National Council shall:-
a. Implement the decisions and resolutions of the Congress.
b. Issue and send directives and instructions to and receive reports from the National Executive.
c. Supervise and direct the work of the Assembly and all its organs.
d. Oversee the maintenance of a good relationship with the MDC and all its organs.
e. Be the custodian of all the national and international property and assets of the Assembly.
f. Delegate such functions to the National Executive Committee as it considers necessary.
g. Issue documents and other policy directives as and when it deems fit. In the event that there is a dispute on a fundamental question, matter of principle or ideology within the party leadership, the National Council may cause a ballot of all Provincial Assemblies to determine the dispute.
h. Confer such honours as it may deem appropriate.
i. Where necessary to suspend or dissolve a Provincial Executive Committee or External Assembly Executive Committee, and to call and conduct new elections within four months from the date of any such dissolution, provided that a suspension shall not last for more than six months.
j. Rectify or reverse any decisions of the National Executive.
k. To elect, reappoint and reassign Assembly Secretaries defined in section 5.4.10 save for those directly elected at congress
l. To monitor and evaluate the performances and execution of duties of all members of the National Executive and remove and reassign functions of members of the National Executive provided that a unanimous decision made by Secret Ballot of the National Council is required when it comes to the removal or reassignment of the National Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary General, Organising Secretary and Treasurer General. In the event of any dispute in respect of the interpretation of this constitution and in the event of any serious dispute or deadlock in the National Council over matters of procedure, then the matter shall be referred to Arbitration before the Appeals Tribunal set out below. In the event of a dispute on fundamental questions of substance, matters of principle or ideology within the National Council then the same shall cause a ballot of all Provincial Assemblies to determine the dispute. All decisions taken by the National Council on routine party business shall be by a simple majority and in the event of an equality of votes the motion shall be lost. All decisions taken by the National Council on strategic party business shall be by a two thirds majority vote of the members present in a meeting or by proxy. The National Council shall meet at least twice a year and as and when required and one half plus one of its membership shall constitute a quorum. An emergent National Council Meeting may be convened on the basis of a petition signed by at least a third of the Members of the National Council provided that at all material times the Secretary General and the Chairperson shall have the right at any time of convening a meeting of the National Council. Composition of the National Council
The National Council shall be composed as follows:-
a) The National Chairperson and the National Vice Chairperson
b) The Secretary General
c) The Treasurer General
d) The National Organising Secretary
e) The Deputy Secretary General
f) The twelve Council Members to be elected directly at Congress in terms of section 5.4.6.
g) The Chairperson and Secretary and Organising Secretary of the External Assembly.
k) The Chairperson, Secretary, Organising Secretary and Treasurer of every Province.
l) The elected Female Representative from each Province elected in terms of section 5.4.5
m) The Twelve Provincial Representatives in the Executive Committee elected in terms of section 5.4.4
n) Seven co-opted Members to the National Executive elected in terms of section 5.4.8 Election of National Leadership
The following shall be elected directly by Congress from nominations made by the Provinces;
(a)National Chairperson;
(b)Deputy National Chairperson;
(c)Secretary General;
(d)Deputy Secretary General
(e)Treasurer General
(f) Organising Secretary
(g)Deputy Organising Secretary
(h)Secretary for Gender
(i)The Secretary for Information and Publicity

5.4.4 After the election of the office bearers referred in section above each Province shall select and nominate the provincial representative referred to in section 5.4.2(m) who shall sit in both the National Council and the Executive, provided that if the representative so elected is an Office Bearer in the Province, he or she shall so cease to hold any such office in the Province following this election.
5.4.5 After electing the Office Bearers and Representative referred to in section 5.4.3 and 5.4.4 each Provinces shall elect the Female Representative referred to in section 5.4.2 (l) provided that if the representative so elected is an office bearer in the Province, she shall so cease to hold any such office in the Province following thus such.
5.4.6 Thereinafter Congress shall elect twelve other Committee Members from nominations submitted from the Provinces or from the floor of Congress with the candidates receiving the highest number of votes from the Delegates being so elected
5.4.7 At its first meeting after Congress, which shall be held within one month from the date of Congress, the National Council guided by the recommendations of the National Standing Committee shall elect the Assembly Secretaries referred in clause 5.4.10 (g) to (s) from amongst those members of the National Council that sit in the National Executive.
5.4.8 Further at this first meeting after Congress, the Council on the recommendations of the National Standing Committee shall co-opt not more than seven persons from the Assembly’s General Membership who shall sit in both the Executive and the Council, provided that the Members to be so co-opted shall be such that a one third gender status quo is achieved in the Membership of the National Executive.
5.4.9 The National Council shall have the power of appointing any member of the Executive to any Secretariat or policy position not specifically created in terms of this constitution. Further the National Council shall have the power of appointing any deputy to any position or office where such does not exist and shall at any time create and fill any new Assembly Secretary position.
5.4.10 there shall be a National Executive Committee of the National Council, which shall exercise all the functions of the National Council in between meetings, provided that the National Executive Committee shall have no power to make any decision in conflict with a standing decision of the National Council.
5.4.11The National Executive shall be composed of
 (a) The National Chairperson and the National Vice Chairperson
(b) The Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary
(c) The National Organising Secretary
(d) The Deputy National Organising Secretary
(e) The Treasurer General
(f) Secretary for Information and Publicity and the Deputy Secretary for Information and Publicity
(g) Secretary for Economic Affairs
(h) Secretary for Education
(i) Secretary for International Relations
(j) Secretary for Labour and Social Security
(k) Secretary for Health
(l) Secretary for Lands, Agriculture and Mineral resources
(m) Secretary for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
 (o) Secretary for Defence and Security
(p) Secretary for Transport Welfare and Logistics
 (q) Secretary for Research and Policy
(r) Secretary for Environment
(s) Secretary for Gender
(t) The Provincial Representatives elected in terms of clause 5.4.4 read together with
(u) The co-opted Committee Members referred in clause 5.4.8.
At least one third of all the members of the Executive Committee shall be female and the National Council shall use its powers co-option under clause 5.4.8 to achieve this number where necessary.
5.4.12 The National Executive shall be the administrative and implementing authority of the Assembly and shall:
a. Implement the decisions and resolutions of the National Council.
b. Recommend Assembly policies and programmes to the National Council
c. Formulate and implement the current programmes of the party within the framework of Assembly policy and ensure that provinces, districts, wards and branches and all other Assembly structures such as parliamentary and local government caucuses carry out the decisions of the Assembly and, where applicable, MDC.
d. Ensure that the provincial, district, ward and branch structures of the Assembly function democratically and effectively.
e. Receive reports, supervise the work of, and delegate such functions to the Provincial Committees as it considers necessary.
f. Engage and dismiss Secretariat staff where necessary.
g. Submit a report to each National Council Meeting through the Chairperson
h. Establish departments and set up committees as it considers appropriate.
i. Suspend any member of the Assembly pending reference of the matter to the appropriate Disciplinary Committee provided that no suspension shall last more than three (3) months from the date that it is imposed.
j. Carry out investigations into any member’s alleged misconduct, draft and frame charges against any such member and prosecute the said member before the appropriate Disciplinary Committee.
k. Set up special Commissions of Inquiry or specialised Committees that shall be appointed for a specific purpose and once that Committee has submitted a written report thereon, it shall be dissolved unless reconstructed for further investigation or consideration in connection with the original task.
l. Institute legal proceedings for and defend any legal proceedings against the Assembly.
m. Open and operate books of accounts.
n. Maintain accurate registers of all the Assembly members and monitor, control and give guidance to all elected Assembly officers holding public positions.
o. Receive monthly reports from Assembly Secretaries in connection with their portfolios.
5.4.13 The National Executive Committee shall meet at least once in two months and one half of its members shall constitute a quorum.
5.4.13 there shall be a National Standing Committee of the National Executive which shall be chaired by the Assembly Chairperson and shall consist of the National Chairperson and the National Vice
Chairperson, the Secretary General, the Treasurer General, the National Organising Secretary, the Secretary for Information and Publicity, the Deputy National Organising Secretary the Deputy Secretary General and the Secretary for International Relations
5.4.14 The Committee shall be responsible for the day to day administration of the Assembly and shall report to the National Executive and shall make no Executive or Policy decisions.

5.5 The Province
5.5.1a There shall be thirteen Provinces of the Assembly; these shall be Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Midlands North, Midlands South, Matebeleland South, Matebeleland North, Bulawayo, External Cadres, Chitungwiza and Harare.
5.5.1b Demarcations of these provinces shall where applicable be in compliance with the MDC demarcations at any given time

5.5.2 The Provincial Executive Committee shall comprise of the following:-
a) Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson
b) Secretary and Deputy Secretary General
c) Treasurer
d) Organising Secretary and Deputy Organising Secretary
e) The Secretary for Information and Publicity
f) The Secretary for Defence and Security
g) The Secretary for Local Government and Housing
h) The Secretary for Economic Affairs
i) The Secretary for Education
j) The Secretary for Land and Agriculture
k) The Secretary for Research and Policy;
l) The Provincial Director of Elections;
m) Secretaries for Gender;
n) All MDC Mayors, Deputy Mayors, Chairpersons, Deputy Chairpersons of Local Authorities and members of Parliament and Provincial Legislature voted within a particular province and below the age of thirty five
p) Five Committee Members.
5.5.3 The Provincial Executive Committee shall be elected at a Provincial Assembly meeting held once every five years provided that elections shall take place at least two months prior to each Congress.
5.5.4 The Provincial Assembly shall comprise of:
(a) The Provincial Executive Committee;
(b) The Student’s Provincial Executive
(c) Three provincial members of an affiliate labour movement below the age thirty five
(d) The District Executive Committee in the Province;
 (e) All MDC Members of the House of Assembly, Mayors, Councillors in the Province plus Chairpersons of all Local Authorities in the Province who are below the age of thirty five.
5.5.5 The quorum of the Provincial Assembly meeting shall be two-thirds of its membership.
5.5.6 The main functions of the Provincial Executive Committee shall be:-
(a) To build the Assembly in the Province;
(b) To organise elections of District Executive Committees and where necessary to organise Ward and Branch Meetings.
(c) To supervise the work of Branches in the Province concerned and to ensure that Branches are functioning democratically effectively and complying with its constitution
(d) To implement policies and principles of the Party in the Province, subject to the National Council.
(e) To carry out all such functions and duties as accepted by the National Council.
(f) To maintain a Register of Assembly Members in the Province.
(g) To select, choose or nominate candidates for National Elections for acceptance or rejection by the National Council and the MDC.
(h) To maintain bank accounts and books of accounts and keep an asset register of all Assembly assets in the Province.
(i) To maintain strong working relations with Provincial structures of the MDC
(j) Subject to approval by the National Council, to suspend or dissolve in a District, Ward or Branch Executive Committee provided that no such suspension shall last for more than five (5) months. Provided that the affected District, Ward or Branch shall have the right of appeal to the Appeals Tribunal against such a decision, within thirty (30) days that such decision will be made. An appeal against suspension by the District, Ward or Branch shall have this effect of suspending the decision being appealed against.
5.5.7 Members of the Provincial Executive Committees shall be eligible for re-election.
5.5.8 At least a third of the Provincial Executive Committee shall be young Women
5.5.9 Should a vacancy occur in the Executive of any Provincial Executive Committee by reason of death, resignation or expulsion, the Provincial Executive Committee will have the power of co-opting another member of the Assembly into the said Provincial Executive Committee and further shall have the power of appointing any of is members to so act in any acting capacity provided that an election to fill the vacancy so created, shall be held at the next provincial Council meeting.
5.5.9 The Provincial Council The Provincial Executive Committee of each Province shall organise at least three Provincial Council meetings in a given year provided that the Chairperson of the Assembly, the Secretary General and the National Council may at any time call for a meeting of the Provincial Council. The Provincial Council shall be composed of:-
a) All Members of the Provincial Executive;
b) All District Chairpersons; The purpose of the Provincial Council shall be:-
a) To review the progress of Assembly programmes within the Province;
b) Transact the particular business the Council would have been convened for;
c) Select and fill any vacancies that would have risen in the Provincial Executive itself;
d) Do all things necessary for the furtherance of Assembly interests, subject to the Constitution and the powers of the National Council
5.6 The District
5.6.1 There shall be a District Executive Committee in every District, which shall meet at least once every three months and whose quorum shall be half of its membership. The District Executive Committee shall comprise of the following:-
(a) Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson;
(b) Secretary and Deputy Secretary
(c) Treasurer
(d) Organising Secretary and Deputy Organising Secretary
(e) Secretary for Information and Publicity Secretary;
(f) Secretary for Gender
(g) Presidents of the Student Representative Councils
(h) Chairpersons of the Ward Executive Committee in the District;
(i) Any elected Member of the House of Assembly for the particular District provided they are below the age of thirty five;
(j) District Director of Elections;
(k) Five Committee Members.
5.6.2 The District Executive Committee shall be elected at a District Assembly meeting held once every five years provided that elections shall take place at least two months prior to each Provincial Assembly meeting held in terms of section 5.5.3.
5.6.3 The District Assembly shall comprise of:
(a) The District Executive Committee;
(b) The Ward Executive Committees in the District; and
(c) The Chairpersons, Secretaries, Treasurers, and Organising Secretaries of the Branch Executive Committees in the District.
(d) The Presidents and Secretary Generals of Student Representative Councils
5.6.4 The quorum of the District Assembly meeting shall be two-thirds of its membership.
5.6.5 The main functions of the District Executive Committee shall be:
(a) To build the Assembly in the District;
(b) Subject to the control of the National Council, to implement the policies and principles of the Assembly in the District; and
(c) To serve as a liaison between the wards in the District, the branches in the District, and between the District and the Provincial Committees.
(d) To keep and maintain an update register of all Members of the Assembly in the said District.
(e) To identify and recommend to the Province persons to participate in National elections.
(f) To conduct the elections of ward Executives including any gap filling elections.
(g) To maintain books of accounts and to open bank accounts for the District.
(h) To keep and maintain an asset register of the Assembly assets and the District.
(i) To maintain strong working relations with the District structures of the MDC
(j) To liaise with Provincial Executive in the formation of MDC and Assembly structures in tertiary education institutions in the district
5.5.6.a The District Executive Committee of each District shall organise at least three District Council Meetings in a given year, provided that the Province shall have a right of calling an ad hoc District Council Meeting.
5.5.6.b The District Council shall comprise of:-
a) All Members of the District Executive Committee;
b) The full Executive of Student representative Council in the District;
c) All Branch Chairpersons, Secretaries, Treasurers, Organising Secretaries
d) All Ward Executive Members.
5.6.6. C the purpose of the District Council shall be to:
(i) Review the progress of Assembly programmes within District
(ii) To select and fill any vacancy that would have arisen in the District itself;
(iii) To attend to the transaction of the particular business the Council would have been called for.
(iv)To do all things necessary for the furtherance of Assembly interests and programmes, Subject to this constitution and the powers of the Provincial Committee.
5.6.7 Members of the District Executive Committees shall be eligible for re-election.
5.6.8 Should a vacancy occur in the Executive of any District Executive Committee by reason of death, resignation or expulsion, the District Executive Committee will have the power of co-opting an other member of the party into the said District Executive Committee and further shall have the power of appointing any of its members to so act in any acting capacity provided that an election to fill the vacancy so created, shall be held at the next District Council meeting.
5.7 The Ward
5.7.1 There shall be a Ward Executive Committee for each Ward in
5.7.2 The Ward Executive Committee shall comprise of the following:-
a) Chairpersons and Deputy Chairperson;
b) Secretary and Deputy Secretary
c) Treasurer
d) Organising Secretary and Deputy Organising Secretary;
e) Secretary for Information and Publicity
f) Presidents of Student Representative Councils in the ward
g) Chairpersons of all the Branch Executive Committees in the District;
h) All elected Councillors in the Ward provided they are below the age of thirty five;
i) Five Committee Members;
j) The Ward Director of Elections.
5.7.3 The Ward Executive Committee shall be elected at a Ward Assembly Meeting held once every five years provided that the elections shall take place at least two months prior to each District Assembly Meeting held in terms of Article 5.6.3.
5.7.4 The Ward Executive Committee shall meet at least once every two months and the aforesaid Membership shall constitute the quorum.
5.7.5 The Ward Assembly shall comprise of:
a) The Ward Executive Committee;
b) Branch Executive Assembly Committee in the Ward
5.7.6 The quorum of the Ward Assembly Meeting shall be two thirds of its Membership.
5.7.7 Members of the Ward Executive Committee shall be eligible for re-election.
5.7.8 Should a vacancy occur in the Executive of any Ward Executive Committee by reason of death, resignation or expulsion, the Ward Executive Committee will have the power of co-opting an other member of the party into the said Ward Executive Committee and further shall have the power of appointing any of its members to so act in any acting capacity provided that an election to fill the vacancy so created, shall be held at the next Ward Assembly.
5.8 The Branch
5.8.1 There shall be branches established in each ward by the Ward Executive Committee with the approval of the District Executive Committee.
5.8.2 The minimum number of members for the establishment of a Branch shall be fifty (50) provided not more than five Branches shall be established in any one Ward without the permission of the Province. Further it is the approval of the National Executive, Branches based on residential areas or geographic consideration rather than numbers, maybe established.
5.8.3 No member shall be a member of more than one Branch.
5.8.4 There shall be a Branch Executive Committee for each Branch.
5.8.5 The Branch Executive Committee shall comprise of a Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Organising Secretary and five other members,
5.8.6 The Branch Executive Committee, except for the Chairpersons of the Women and Youth committees, shall be elected at a Branch Assembly meeting held once every five years provided that elections shall take place at least two months prior to each Ward Assembly meeting held in terms of section 5.7.3.
5.8.7 The Branch Assembly shall be composed of all members of the Assembly in the Branch and one-half of the membership shall constitute a quorum.
5.8.8 Members of the Branch Executive Committees shall be eligible for re-election.
5.8.9 A Branch shall cease to exist if:
(a) its membership numbers drop below 50 for a period of six months, without the consent of the District Committee being obtained; or
(b) it is decided by a majority vote at a meeting of which 14 days notice has been given to all members of the Branch that the Branch be dissolved; or
(c) The Ward Committee decides, after consultation with the Branch Committee and with the approval of the Provincial Executive Committee, to abolish the Branch.
5.8.10 Members of the Assembly’s National, Provincial and District executives shall be responsible for the setting up of Assembly structures in tertiary institutions all over the country
5.8.10 Any Zimbabwean below the age of thirty five living outside Zimbabwe shall be eligible to be Members of the Assembly.
5.8.11 any group of Assembly Members living outside Zimbabwe in any particular country shall have the right to form Branches, Wards and Districts in their particular areas, dependent on the population and geographical area of a particular country.
5.8.12 taking into account the population of Zimbabwean Members in a particular country the National Council shall declare a particular country to be a Designated Country. Once a country is so designated the Assembly Members in that particular country shall be entitled and obliged to elect National leadership in that country at an External Assembly. Subject to this constitution the External Assembly shall have the same powers and status as a Province.
5.8.13 in any Designated Country an External Assembly shall be held once every five years, and at least two months before the Assembly Congress provided that the First External Assemblies shall be held after the First Assembly National Congress.
5.8.14 an extra ordinary meeting of the External Assembly may be called at any time by the National Council or by written request signed by two thirds of the members of the External Assembly Executive
5.8.15 the external Assembly shall have equal status as a district and all external Assemblies combined shall be equivalent to a province.
5.8.16 the National Council may designate the status of Ambassador to the Chairperson of an external Assembly under criteria deemed fit and.

5.9 Responsibilities of Secretaries and Members of the National Executive
5.9.1 The National Chairperson
The National Chairperson is the leader and Chief Principal Officer of the Assembly and ultimately accountable to the National Council and Congress for the vision, strategy actions and omissions of the Assembly subject to this Constitution
5.9.1 a) it shall be the duty of the National Chairperson to;
i. to uphold and defend the assembly constitution and principles
ii. to chair meetings of the National Council, National Executive and Congress;
iii. to promote democratic discourse, participation and equality of all members within the Assembly;
iv. to present the reports of the National Council to the National Conference and Congress; and
v. To perform such other functions and duties and exercise such powers as may be assigned to him or her within the provisions of this constitution by the National Council.
vi. Notwithstanding any power elsewhere to convene any extraordinary meeting of Congress, or ordinary National Council, the Executive, Provincial Council or External Assembly, the National Chairperson shall have the power of convening any such Congress Council or Meeting
vii. The National Chairperson: shall in general act as the principal public representative of the Assembly, provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as empowering the National Chairperson to act or do anything contrary to the Assembly’s principle of open, transparent and democratic decision making.
5.9.2 The Deputy National Chairperson It shall be the duty of the Deputy National Chairperson to
i. to assist the Chairperson with the exercise of his or her powers, functions and administrative duties as provided for in this constitution
ii. to act on behalf of the National Chairperson whenever the National Chairperson is absent from Zimbabwe or is for any reason unable to perform his or her powers, functions or administrative duties;
iii. to perform such functions relating to the function of standing committees and other general matters as may be assigned to him or her by the National Council; and
iv. to preside over proceedings at National Conference
5.9.3 The Secretary General
It shall be the duty of the Secretary General to;
i. perform the duties of the National Chairperson’s office in the event that both the National Chairperson and Deputy National Chairperson are unable to perform the functions of the National Chairperson’s office;
ii. under the supervision of the National Council, convene and organise the meetings of Congress and the National Conference in consultation with the National Chairperson ;
iii. primarily be responsible for the efficient organisation and administration of the Assembly;
iv. Ensure that meetings of the National Executive, National Council are held as defined in this Constitution
v. Ensure liaison with the Secretary General of the MDC for Secretarial issues whenever applicable
vi. be the custodian of all important Assembly documents, lists, papers and records;
vii. to maintain and supervise the maintenance of the Assembly membership list; and
viii. to present reports to he National Executive, National Council on general Assembly affairs
ix. Perform such other functions and duties and exercise such powers as may be assigned to him or her within the provisions of this constitution by the President or the National Executive or the National Council.
5.9.4 The Treasurer General
a) Under the supervision of the National Council and in consultation with the National Chairperson and the rest of the National Standing Committee open such bank accounts and maintain such financial records as may be necessary for the efficiency and seek amendments of that funds;
b) Be the chief custodian of all Assembly funds and monies;
c) Prepare and present to the National Council the annual budget of the Assembly;
d) Provide the National Executive Committee and the National Council with regular statements of income and expenditure;
e) Chair the Finance and Fundraising Committee;
f) Supervising and co-ordinate fund raising activities of the Assembly;
g) Perform such other functions and duties and exercise such power as may be assigned to him by the National Chairperson or the National Executive Committee and the National Council provided that such assignment shall not include function duties and power vested in another office under and in terms of this Constitution
h) Act on behalf of the Secretary General whenever both the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General are absent from Zimbabwe or are for any reason unable to perform or exercise duties, functions or powers of the Secretary General’s office

5.9.5 The Deputy Secretary General
The Deputy Secretary General shall:-
a) Assist and deputise the Secretary General in the performance and exercise of his or her functions, duties and powers provided in this constitution
b) Act on behalf of the Secretary General whenever the Secretary General is absent from Zimbabwe or is for any reason unable to perform or exercise his or her duties, functions or powers;
c) Perform such other functions and duties and exercise such powers as may be assigned to him by the National Chairperson and the rest of the National Standing Committee or the National Council provided that such assignment shall not include powers, duties or functions vested in another office under the terms of this constitution
5.9.6 The National Organising Secretary
The Organising Secretary shall:-
a) Conduct the elections of the Provincial Executive Committees;
b) Conduct or ensure that Assembly elections are conducted at Branch, Ward and District level;
c) Supervise and co-ordinate the recruitment of members into the Assembly;
d) Be responsible for administering Assembly structures subject to the control of the Executive and subject and to this constitution
e) Ensure the establishment of Assembly structures and organs from the Branch to the Provincial level.
f) Supervise and monitor the political programmes of the Provincial, District, Ward and Branch structures of the Assembly;
g) Be responsible for collating, gathering and collecting all lists of Assembly Membership and Assembly Members;
h) Be responsible for the implementation of the Assembly’s programmes of action and advocacy including organising all activities aimed at achieving the Assembly’s long and short term goals;
i) Chair the Assembly’s National Organising Committee
j) Be the Chief Master of ceremonies at all Assembly National functions including rallies, public meetings, congress and the National conference;
k) Perform any such other function and duties and exercise such powers as may be assigned to him or her by the National Chairman or the Secretary General, the National Executive or National Council provided that such a function shall not include functions duties, powers that someone else under and in terms of this constitution

5.9.7 The Secretary for Information and Publicity
The Secretary for Information and Publicity shall:-
a) Under the supervision of the National Council act as the General Spokesperson of the Assembly on all Assembly affairs;
b) Supervise and co-ordinate the development of the Assembly’s communication and media strategies;
c) Ensure that the Assembly Policies are adequately communicated and explained to the public;
d) Be responsible for the preparation and approval of the Assembly’s Press releases and advertisement materials of whatever description;
e) Perform such other duties and functions and such powers as may be assigned to him by the Secretary General or the National Executive Committee or National Council provided that such assignment shall not include powers, duties or functions vested in another office under in terms of this constitution
 5.9.8 Other portfolio Secretaries
The functions, duties and powers of other Assembly Secretaries not otherwise set out in this constitution shall be as defined by the National Council in writing provided that the National Council in so doing shall not assign duties or functions or vest powers already vested in some other Assembly Officer under and in terms of this constitution
Section 6: Committees of the Assembly
6.1 The Assembly shall have the following standing committees to promote the objects of the Assembly:
(a) The Disciplinary Committee;
(b) The Directorate of National Elections;
© The Economic Affairs Committee;
(d) The Education Committee;
(e) The Finance Committee;
(f) The Health Committee;
(g) The Information and Publicity Committee;
(h) The International Relations Committee;
(I) the Labour and Human Resources Committee;
(j) The Land, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee;
(k) The Legal Affairs Committee;
(l) The Youth representation and Gender Committee;
(m) The Organising Committee;
(n) The Research and Policy Committee;
(o) The Security Committee; and
(p) The Transport, Logistics and Welfare Committee;
6.2 Save for the Disciplinary Committee and the Finance Committee, each committee shall be chaired by the relevant secretary of the National Council elected for that portfolio. The Treasurer-General shall chair the Finance Committee.
6.3 Save for the Disciplinary Committee, each committee shall consist of at least four other persons who are individual members of the Assembly appointed by the National Council.
6.4 (a) No committee shall make a decision in conflict with a standing decision of the National Council or with standing principles of the Assembly.
(b) No decision of any committee on any major policy issue shall be implemented before it has been considered and approved by the National Council.
6.5 The National Executive of the National Council may constitute and appoint such other committees as may be necessary from time to time.
6.6 The Directorate of National Elections
6.6.1 There shall be a Directorate of National Elections which shall:
a) Be responsible for the development and implementation of the Assembly’s election strategy in all National and Local Government Elections;
b) Be responsible for the development and implementation of the Assembly’s programmes on Voter Registration and Voter education;
c) Devise and ensure the implementation of all election anti-rigging strategies and measures for all National and Local Government elections;
d) Ensure that all information relating to any and all electoral matters is available to the Assembly at all material times;
e) Supervise and monitor the implementation of all the Assembly’s elections campaign programmes in all elections in strict liaison with their equivalent in the MDC.
f) Direct and command any organ or structure and department of the assembly to perform any function or duty during any election campaign subject to the control of the National Council;
g) Liaise with their equivalent in MDC in ensuring that the Party is in a state of preparedness in respect of all National elections that the Party will participate in.
h) Monitor and observe such elections and present a report to the National Council;
i) Supervise and control the functions, roles and duties of all Directors of elections at Provincial, District and Ward level.
j) Perform such other functions and duties and exercise such powers as assigned to the same by the National Council.
k) Execute any other duties that may be assigned to them by their equivalent in the MDC, the National Council or the National executive
6.6.2The Directorate of National elections shall be chaired by the Director of elections of the Assembly and shall consist of the following other members:-
a) The National Organising Secretary and the Deputy Organising Secretary;
b) The Secretary for Information and the Deputy Secretary for Information & Publicity;
c) The Secretary for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs;
d) The Treasurer General;
e) The Secretary for Policy and Research;
f) Other eight members as appointed by the National Council shall be assigned from time to time.
7. Financial and Material Resources
7.1 The Assembly shall be financed by membership contributions, donations and any investments by the Party and/or itself.
7.2 Subject to section 7.5 and the Constitution of the MDC the Treasurer General of the Assembly, shall be the custodian of Assembly funds.
7.3 The National Council in consultation with the Finance Committee of the MDC shall prescribe the manner in which funds shall be kept and the manner in which money may be withdrawn for Assembly use, including a prescription of which officers shall be signatories to Assembly accounts.
7.4 There shall be an annual audit of Assembly funds by a firm of reputed auditors in Zimbabwe and a report of such audit shall be made annually to the National Council and to the National Conference.
7.5 There shall be an Assembly Trust established for the administration and management of trust funds that may be donated and/or deposited in the Trust account by those donors requiring that their donations be administered by a Trust.

8. Code of Conduct
8.1 Discipline
8.1i. any member of the Assembly who defies the decision taken by the National Congress or any structure of the Assembly after due process shall be expelled immediately.
ii. The member so expelled, shall have a right to appeal to the higher structure.
iii. All Assembly members who are suspended or expelled by the MDC shall automatically be suspended or expelled from the Assembly.
8.2 Rules and Regulations
The following rules shall apply for the maintenance of progress and discipline in the Assembly; it shall be the responsibility of every member to keep them.
a) Respect each and every other member of the organisation.
b) Defend and protect the name and the status of the Assembly from any disrepute.
c) Disciplinary action shall be the responsibility and the prerogative of the National Disciplinary Committee or any other junior body that may be set up by the National Disciplinary Committee, National Council or Congress.
d) The National Disciplinary Committee or National Congress may discipline or expel a member for:
i. acting against the interests of the organisation;
ii. Failing to pay membership and/or levy fees according to this constitution iii. Contravening any part of this constitution in any way v. Bringing about chaos in the day to day running of the organisation.
e) The member shall be notified in writing and shall remain suspended until the case has been heard and concluded by the Disciplinary Committee.
8.3 The National Disciplinary Committee
8.3.1There shall be a National Disciplinary Committee whose duties shall, subject to this constitution, be to;
a) investigate breaches of this constitution and the code of conduct
b) Sit as a Court to hear and determine any allegations of misconduct by members or Assembly Structures and shall have the power to impose any penalties including suspensions, removal from elected positions or expulsions from the Assembly.
c) Sit as a Court of appeal in respect of any appeals noted against the decisions made by the Ad hoc Disciplinary Committees of the Provinces, External Assemblies or the District Executives.
8.3.2 The National Disciplinary Committee shall be composed of seven members appointed by the National Council namely
a)Two members of the National Executive who are both not holders of any secretarial positions, one of whom must be the Chairperson of the committee
b)Five other persons from outside the National Council who are good and regular standing
8.3.3In making these appointments the National Council shall have strict gender considerations while ensuring that at least two of the members are qualified to practise as lawyers, prosecutors and/or magistrates or will be qualified to do so within eighteen months of appointment
8.3.4 The term of office for the Chairperson shall be five years while that of other members shall be two years half of whom shall be re-appointable once.
8.3.5 In all matters affecting a member of the National Disciplinary Committee, the Deputy National Chairperson shall preside over proceedings
8.3.6 Should any vacancy occur in the National Disciplinary Committee, or should the appointed Members be unable to sit on the grounds of fairness or any other good reason, the National Council shall have the powers to feel in such vacancies or to appoint an ad hoc National Disciplinary Committee
8.3.7 Any Appeal shall lie from any decision or order made by the National Disciplinary Committee to the National Council. Within thirty (30) days thereof a Notice of Appeal lodged with Secretary-General. The National Council shall have the power to confirm, alter or set aside in any manner what so ever any such decision or order.
8.3.8 Appeals against national council rulings shall be addressed to Congress. Within thirty days of the passing of the decision a Notice of Appeal shall be lodged with the Secretary General. Such a member/ members shall remain suspended until congress

9. 1 the authority to amend this Constitution shall rest with Congress
9.2 a motion to amend this constitution shall be lodged with the Secretary General at least forty five days before Congress. The proposed amendment should be lodged as an attachment to the motion
9.3 such a motion mentioned in section 9.2 shall be rendered valid and be part of the Congress agenda if it is signed by at least two thirds of the membership of a Provincial Council
10. Dissolution
10.1 The authority to dissolve the MDC Youth Assembly shall rest with Congress and/or Extra Ordinary Congress.
10.2 Congress or Extraordinary shall consider the dissolution of the Assembly if,
a) The National Conference moves such a motion
b) Two thirds of the Assembly’s Provinces move such a motion
c) The MDC is dissolved
10.3 in accordance with section 10.2c of this constitution if the MDC is dissolved the National Chairperson shall, in consultation with other Members of the National Executive, convene an Extraordinary Congress whose sole agenda shall be to decide whether or not the Assembly should be dissolved
10.4 In case of the dissolution of the Assembly, its properties shall be donated to an organisation/organisations appointed by Congress or a body delegated with such authority.
10.5 In the event that at the arrival of the decision to dissolve the Assembly, the Assembly had outstanding debts/ credits the Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, Treasurer General and Secretary for Legal Affairs shall constitute a dissolution Committee and expeditiously close all accounts without contravening section 10.4 of this constitution.
Section 11 Annexure
Annexure1. Transitional Mechanisms
• As soon as this constitution is adopted each member of the Assembly shall be required to belong to a Branch structure regardless of other position held.
Until the second Congress of the Assembly it shall be permissible and encouraged for each party member of the party to hold leadership positions in the branch and one other level of leadership. This shall be on condition that the branch they belong to is not outside the boundaries of the other level of leadership where they hold a leaders