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WHAT IS THE FEYA FEYA CAMPAIGN?
The Feya Feya Campaign (Feya Feya) is a Civic led and owned, broad based initiative aimed at promoting a peaceful, free, fair and credible election in Zimbabwe. While it is a campaign on Zimbabwe, it is envisaged to have local, regional and international elements as part of building a global consensus on free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
Its conceptual foundation is predicated on leveraging possibilities of Zimbabwe’s transition to democracy through the creation of a platform for enhancement and complementarity rather than replacement of initiatives currently being undertaken by civic society. The campaign is proposed as the holding centre, on which sectors can converge, harness their efforts and act on the issues related to elections in a more nuanced and coordinated manner.
Feya Feya is also meant as a sound but simple messaging platform, where the concept of credible, free and fair elections is captured and popularised in as simple a manner as is possible, in language that is friendly and accessible to ordinary Zimbabweans. As such, it will be a media and information intensive campaign.
The Campaign is built on 3 phases:
PHASE 1: Inception Phase - building the campaign, generating consensus among critical sections of Civil Society, as well as putting in place a consolidated campaigns infrastructure and DNA.
PHASE 2: Roll Out Phase - implementation of the campaign activities as suggested in the campaign’s catalogue of possible activities as well as informed by the National Alliance processes and inputs from the Regional and international alliances processes. Further consolidation of the campaign’s alliance and solidarity platforms will take place at local, regional and international levels.
PHASE 3: Shut Down Phase - final phase of the campaign, shutting down the campaign, but also subliminally shutting down authoritarianism and dictatorship and paving the way for a more democratic dispensation. In this phase the focus will largely be on activities that support protection of the people’s vote and a transition to democracy through constitutional and peaceful transfer of power
What is the Goal of the campaign?
Promote peaceful, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, in which the will of the people is respected.
What are the Objectives of the Campaign?
Below are the main objectives of the campaign during this phase of implementation:
- To increase citizen’s participation in electoral processes – democracy is about participation, qualitative and quantitative participation.
- To mobilise national and international support for peaceful, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe and to build an international network of solidarity.
- To advocate for peaceful elections and mitigating the impact of violence and intimidation.
- To campaign for a conducive operating and political environment ahead of elections.
Who are the Main targets of the Campaign?
The campaign has a primary target that is bi-nodal- those most affected by elections and those who can do something to deal with the challenges. The primary target list is as follows:
- Urbanites (city and town dwellers, who besides being considered the most “enlightened” are amongst the most apathetic in political processes.
- Youths ( who constitute the biggest voting demographic in the country, but are also largely apathetic)
- ‘Aliens’ – Zimbabweans of Foreign decent, the bulk of whom, had had their voting rights suspended due to a dubious legal and constitutional dispensation which was ended by the promulgation of a new constitution which has given them full franchise.
- Local Policy Makers and wielders of power and influence - These have power to do something about facilitating free and fair elections.
- Regional and International wielders of influence and Policy makers - These have power to exert reputational pressure on the Zimbabwean state to hold credible polls and withhold legitimacy, if this does not happen.
- The Zimbabwean Diaspora and International Citizens. – while these do not hold the power of the vote, they can be strong allies to people resident in Zimbabwe, and useful ambassadors on free, fair and credible elections in places they are located to their policy makers. While the diaspora has the additional power to influence relatives and friends back home because of the power of the purse, and perceptions of advancement and understanding of the advantages of democratisation in places they are domiciled.
In targets a, b and d, special provisions will be made to ensure that there is also a deliberate targeting of women as key pushers of opinions at different levels of family, society and national levels.
Where are we coming from?
Closing up Phase 1: Inception Phase
Phase I of the campaign was meant to establish a significant buy-in from critical sections of Civil Society, as well as putting in place a consolidated campaigns infrastructure and DNA. All 3 aspects were attained, as stated in summary below:
- The Campaign’s central concept and framework were endorsed and supported by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition’s member organisations at a membership meeting and 7 subsequent committee meetings . In addition to the above, the Heads of Coalitions and Networks (HOCNs) endorsed the Campaign, and the Coalition was mandated to continue developing it and fast track implementation.
- An interim-working framework for local and global support of the campaign has been developed at a technical level, with some concrete ideas developed for political support of the campaign.
- The Campaigns conceptual and methodological frameworks have been enhanced and sharpened, with the aid of a local Zimbabwean Focus group made of CHRA, NYDT, WILD, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGOs Forum, MAZ and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, through processes in Harare, Johannesburg and Nairobi– from December 2012 to April 2013.
- Campaign introduction and support meetings have been held with the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition’s Regional Networking partners in South Africa (led by Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum and CIVICUS), Botswana (Led by DITSHANELO), Zambia (led by FODEP and Zambia Social Forum), Kenya (led by the New Democracy Foundation (Formerly NCA-NCEC) amongst other actors in Africa. In Europe formative engagements have been held with Action for Southern Africa in the UK, Zimbabwe Watch in the Netherlands and Zimbabwe Europe Network in Brussels, Belgium.
In the first phase, definitive discussions were held around synergies and collaborative actions between the Feya Feya Campaign and other existing campaigns and initiatives on elections being run by civil society organizations, as follows:
- YouthDecideNow a.k.a X1G Campaign – coordinated by the Elections Resource Centre (ERC).
- Pink Pinky Finger Movement - Run by the Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT).
- Vote in Peace Campaign - Run by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN).
- “Dat is da Vote” campaign, run by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association to encourage people in all constituencies to register and vote.
- The Campaign has been mainstreamed from a planning and messaging perspective by some members of the Crisis Coalition, who were waiting for the campaign to be launched in order to go public with the mainstreaming.
Feya Feya Phase II: Campaign Roll Out
This phase entails effective rolling out and popularisation of the campaign, which will be ideally implemented using 5 primary activity pillars as follows:
- Multi-Dimensional Artistic Events – incorporating music, art, screen printing, poetry and film
- High level Discussion Platforms on election related issues, which are led by local leaders and icons from different fields engaging the public with common messages on peace and the need for free and fair elections.
- High level Regional and International Civil Society Advocacy Missions to key policy centres. Local and international Civil Society leaders will carry out public meetings to canvass for international public support for free and fair elections, while also engaging in on and off the record interactions with key wielders of influence and power.
- Audio And Visual
- Print: Orthodox Print Zimbabwe and other strategic towns.
- Online Platforms (IF YOU ARE NOT ONLINE, YOU DON’T EXIST)
- Popular Information and Education Material: Feya Feya branded paraphernalia will be used to support all campaign activities as well as to support other related civic society actions and on-going campaigns aimed at specific issues or targets.
What Problems does the campaign seek to address?
The problems are identified as primarily 3 fold:
- Voter Apathy – The case of a Silent majority and local action: Previous elections in Zimbabwe have been largely apathetic, with the 2008 election witnessing a voter turnout of approximately just over 2, 5 million, against close to 6 million registered voters. The low turnout presented the reality that in those elections people did not vote in the numbers that constitute a mobilized base on which the outcome could be defended or protected. This apathy, based on voting figures from 2008, is largely in cities and urban areas, while the voter turnout in rural areas has held steady at fairly acceptable levels.
- Conditions – the case for fair rules and fair play to produce an acceptable outcome: Previous elections in Zimbabwe have been characterised by a clear arrest of free political activity, and the promotion, through actions of elections as dangerous processes rather than the ultimate act of civic responsibility. Central to the intoxication of the political environment has been political violence, partisan execution of duty by security services, a polarised and partisan media, and the presence of laws that hinder free association, assembly and access to information.
- International Scrutiny, attention and Action – Exerting reputational pressure and withholding legitimacy: In the 2008 elections, for a long time, the regional and international community both at the levels of policy makers and citizens was caught flatfooted by the rapid pace at which the situation in Zimbabwe degenerated. Instead of avoiding problems, the region and the international community found themselves engaging with problems after the fact. A firm and conscious action oriented attention on the Zimbabwean election and clear action and pronouncements in favour of progress can help mitigate some of the challenges presented by the electoral challenges of 2008.
While the above are not all the challenges associated with elections in Zimbabwe, they are the ones that the Feya Feya campaign seeks to mitigate. The overall understanding is based on the informed assumption that Zimbabweans do not want a repeat of the experiences of 2008, they want to overcome that legacy.
Voting patterns, outcomes and turnout during the recently held constitution referendum, seems to indicate that Zimbabweans are tired of stagnation and desire democratic consolidation and progress which may allow for the restoration of the country’s economy.
How Do stakeholder get involved with the activities?
The expectation is to implement activities under the Feya Feya phase II in 3 types that is:
- Core FeFeCa activities, which are done under the name of the campaign. These are joint activities with no independent branding.
- Principle FeFeCa activities which can be carried out in alliance with other partners, and can have the branding of the campaign and the partnered organisations or campaigns,
- Self-run initiatives, which the campaign can support but are carried out by alliance partners at different levels. These may or may not have Feya Feya branding, as long as they carry forward the essence of the campaign.
Collaborative programing is encouraged to leverage different strengths also to ensure value for money and effective spread.
How do we coordinate?
The campaign will use existing platforms to coordinate, focused in two geographic centres of Harare and Bulawayo. Other organisations can also set up coordinating platforms and share outputs or ideas
The following modes will be used to enhance communication and coordination;
- Meetings – on a weekly basis as elections draw near (primarily in Harare and Bulawayo)
- Setting up groups (email, whatsapp, skype, facebook etc as applicable)
- Collaborative programing
- Enhancing existing clusters and coordination mechanisms.