Zimbabweans must vote against this draft constitution

Tanonoka Joseph Whande

Forgive me, please.
I cannot and will not, by any stretch of imagination, accept or promote this piece of rubbish, erroneously labelled as the “Draft Constitution of Zimbabwe”.
If those people who spent so many millions of dollars and so much time came up with this nonsense and expect to be accorded some form of hero status, then they might as well point to their unmarked graves.
The draft constitution is worse than trash. It is manure.

Douglas Mwonzora, step forward, please, and explain how you, a purported lawyer, could be party to this intricate and meaningless deception that protects thieves, rapists and murderers at the expense of the hopeful innocent?

Those who stole other people’s properties are protected by this draft constitution.
Those who raped and killed other people as their properties and property rights were being taken away are protected by this draft constitution.

Those who murdered our compatriots across the country, particularly during the Gukurahundi Massacres, are protected by this draft constitution. Mwonzora and his cohorts try to put a statute of limitations on murder.

I, as a citizen of Zimbabwe, am not amused by this reckless violation of the dignity of our people, our constitution and our nation just to appease Morgan Tsvangirai, his party and his hangers on.

Zimbabwe is for the people, not for MDC-T and Mwonzora must never forget that each time he opens his mouth to spout his party’s opinions, he is talking about Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans.
We, the people of Zimbabwe, are not stupid. This is not our “draft constitution”.
I have never seen such an expensive piece of garbage.

The people of Zimbabwe do not deserve this trash. We have been subjugated by a negotiated settlement before and now we have our own home-grown draft constitution threatening to subjugate us but this time we have no one to blame but ourselves.

MDC-T never had any right to make such drastic decisions without consulting the people. We are still paying for their stupidity of signing the Global Political Agreement without consulting the people.

Yet, once again, the MDC-T is ignoring the people’s wishes and declares, without the people’s authority, that after so-called “extensive deliberations”, MDC-T’s executive committee “was satisfied that the draft constitution essentially captures the views of the people of Zimbabwe and represents an incremental gain in the democratisation process”.

What incremental gain are they talking about? Or are they talking about themselves having now become fulltime passengers on the gravy train?

Was it not the MDC-T itself that always complained that people were not being given the free opportunity to give their views during the constitutional outreach programme? When, then, as Mwonzora claims, did this whole thing essentially capture the views of the people of Zimbabwe?

What really is wrong with MDC-T lawyers? Tendai Biti, a renowned lawyer and the same party’s Secretary General, who happens to be the country’s Minister of Finance, praised the same document last week as if it is Zimbabwe’s Bible, knowing fully well that the people’s views had not been taken into consideration.
The draft constitution is nothing but something to be used to clean ourselves with after performing our natural obligations in a Blair toilet.

Mwonzora said that his MDC-T’s executive committee resolved to support the draft constitution and recommended the same to his party’s national council.

With lawyers behaving like this, we should not wonder why so many innocent people are behind bars and why so many criminals are in government.

I am very concerned about Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC. They are supposedly the ruling party. Things are not going well for the people of Zimbabwe and Tsvangirai’s supporters are being harassed, arrested and jailed for nothing at all.

The MDC-T is totally unable to protect its own supporters yet the big people in that party go wherever they want, do whatever they want and are never censured by the police like all other Zimbabweans are.

Today, they have their children at expensive schools in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and even America, London and Europe, yet we, the ordinary, are fooled into thinking these people fight on our behalf.
All along, MDC-T has been pretending to be a people’s party. It has always falsely projected itself as a messenger of the people.

Enticed by the glitter of an easy life, flashed before them by Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai and his party signed the so-called Global Political Agreement with ZANU-PF.

They never consulted the people. To this day, the unilateral decision by the MDC to join the unity government is a burden around every citizen’s neck.

A few weeks ago, Roy Bennett, MDC-T’s Treasurer General, warned the party against making unilateral decisions without consulting the people.

We can all see how big-headed Morgan Tsvangirai and his close advisors have become. They do not wish to have their blissful political existence disturbed by the so-called ordinary people.

Tsvangirai and his people are doing as they please in the name of the people.
They are squandering the good faith they earned.

No longer are the people their masters; they think the people are their servants.
The MDC-T negotiated the constitution to safeguard itself, not the nation.

This party agreed to ignore atrocities committed against its own people just so they can sit at the high table and thumb their noses at the people who showed so much faith in them.

The heart of the matter is that Zimbabweans must reject this draft constitution because it does not protect us or give us our rights and freedoms.

It does not recognise our aspirations, desires and hopes but thwarts them.
It does not punish those still alive who wronged us and murdered our kin nor does it protect us from the same atrocities from happening again.

This constitution still concentrates power in one man at the expense of our elected representatives.
MDC-T has betrayed the people of Zimbabwe and has agreed to certain trade-offs over which they had no right to decide without consulting the people of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabweans must vote against this so-called draft constitution because it has nothing to do with our wishes and expectations. It is an MDC-T draft constitution that even ZANU-PF does not want, although for different reasons from those of the people of Zimbabwe.

We want freedom of the press.
We want human rights and property rights.
We want justice and reparations for crimes our government committed against us, for we have known only one government in more than thirty-two years, which, in itself, should be a crime.
We want age limits on our presidential candidates.
We want term limits on every president or would be president.

Our constitution must punish wrongdoers and leave law-abiding citizens free to pursue their life’s needs, goals and desires.
Our constitution must be our shield and our protection, not a weapon used against us.

We do not have a draft constitution. It appears as if someone wrote a letter to his loving mother, expressing his fantasies about oppressing people and disregarding their wishes and that letter was mistaken for a draft constitution.

Mwonzora unbelievably said that the highlight of the draft was the resolution on the question of citizenship “by firstly guaranteeing citizenship to Zimbabweans who were previously denied citizenship and secondly allowing dual citizenship to Zimbabweans by birth”.
That, to him, is the highlight?

Not letting Mugabe and those who killed our citizens go scot free?
Not punishing those who stole other people’s property?
Not restoring and safeguarding people’s rights?
Not affording every Zimbabwean, despite their location, the right to vote?

“We support the establishment of foundations for strong democratic institutions that include a stronger Parliament to effect checks and balances on the Executive,” he said.
Establishing foundations? I mean, this is utter rubbish. We are way past that stage, 32 years past that stage.
And Mwonzora is talking about the same parliament that has no say over the deployment of the army inside our borders.

He yaps about a “provision for a strong and accountable President” as if we never had one like so.
He even talked about the creation of independent commissions but whose leaders and members are appointed by the “strong and accountable President”. Where the hell is parliament or are they simply thinking about putting Tsvangirai in Mugabe’s shoes and let him continue with the same horrid oppression of the people?

It is interesting that ZANU-PF, which prevented people from giving their views for the new constitution, does not like it yet the MDC-T, which complained about the prevention of people from giving their inputs, wants it.
Zimbabweans must vote against this draft constitution; it rewards and protects murderers and thieves but punishes the innocent and the deprived.

The MDC-T is, once again, trying to betray us.

I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Thursday, August 2nd, 2012.

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