NCA tells Zimbabweans to vote No in constitution referendum

Chairperson Dr Lovemore Madhuku

By Tichaona Sibanda
05 February 2013

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has said ‘No’ to the proposed new constitution.

The NCA, one of the leading pressure groups in the country, announced at a press conference on Tuesday that they would ask Zimbabweans to reject the COPAC draft because it is ‘neither people-driven nor democratic.’

Chairperson Dr Lovemore Madhuku told journalists they are confident they will get enough support to defeat it at the referendum.

The law requires that for the proposed constitution to pass into law, more than 50 percent of the voters must support it.

COPAC co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora gave notice to Parliament that they would present a copy of the draft and a full report of the constitution making process to both the lower and upper houses on Wednesday.

Parliament is expected to debate and pass the draft constitution without any amendments. An MDC-T MP told SW Radio Africa that parties to the GPA, who all support the proposed new constitution, have the ability to muster more than enough consensus to get the constitution passed at referendum.

Some observers believe the document has attractive clauses and say that it reduces the power of the president, to some extent, and expands parliamentary oversight over the executive, on some issues.

But the NCA cited 24 reasons why this constitution should be rejected. One reason being that this is a constitution imposed on Zimbabweans by just three political parties.

The Madhuku led group also alleges that the proposed constitution still leaves all the power in the president, who is allowed to do what he or she wants.

Other problems they have with the draft is that it increases the size of Parliament to 350 MPs (270 national assembly and 80 senators). The NCA say that Zimbabwe has, ‘no resources for such a huge legislature.’

Madhuku said the NCA would use their structures to mobilize their followers to reject this document, but they also said it was important that Zimbabweans understood the contents of the draft and they want all voters to fully grasp the provisions it contains.

‘POSA must be suspended to allow for uninterrupted campaign meetings. If this is not done, the NCA reserves its right to campaign without being restricted by POSA. We also want equal access to the public media by both the YES and NO voices,’ Madhuku said.

11 Responsesto “NCA tells Zimbabweans to vote No in constitution referendum”

  1. wilbert_mukori says:

    This Copac Constitution is too weak and feeble to guarantee even the most basic rights as the right to free and fair elections and the right to life itself. The two MDC accept this and hence their frantic push to have the agreed reforms implemented before the referendum.

    There is no way any meaningful reforms are going to be implemented in two months and accepting this Copac Constitution without the reforms is folly.

    Mugabe and Zanu PF are desperate, really desperate, to get a yes vote in the referendum and once they have the yes vote safely in the bag the party will roll out the party’s terror machine. The wanton violence of 2008 must not be allowed ever again and the only way Zimbabwe can be sure there will be free and fair election – free of violence, with a free media, etc. is by voting NO in the referendum.

    For 33 years Zimbabweans have been denied the right to a meaningful vote and the right to life. We must demand these rights as our birthright and settle for nothing else. Vote NO to a constitution that seeks only to entrench Mugabe and Zanu PF dictatorial rule!

    • Tiger Shona says:

      I totally agree with you Wilbert.

    • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

      give us your ‘blue print’ and not this crap Wilbert. ‘For 33 years Zimbabweans have been denied the right to a meaningful vote and the right to life. We must demand these rights as our birthright and settle for nothing else. Vote No to a constitution that seeks only to entrench Mugabe and Zanu PF dictatorial rule’! Really. Were you living on planet earth like the reset of us when you say this crap. For 33 years you have been denied the right to meaningful vote and the right to life. Wilbert will have wanted Ian Smith and his illegal regime to maintain the status quo in Zimbabwe. What a newly found political analyst, at least in the eyes of SW Radio Africa who has no eyes to see reality and always on the wrong side of history. Well, perhaps it is only you who has been denied and you can not speak on our behalf. If you have been denied your rights by this government in power, then you should do something about it. But can you do when you have been languishing outside the country for donkey years. Kufurira vamwe nekusevenzeswa nebunhu ndichochirwere chaunacho blazo. Uridofo rinoda kufadza varungu big time blazo

      • wilbert_mukori says:

        Has this Mugabe regime held free and fair elections, ever?

        This is about the people, ordinary Zimbabweans, demanding free and fair election – free of violence, with free media and freedom of expression, etc. It is nonsense that any Zimbabwean demanding these basic rights must have supported Ian Smith’s white racist regime and want it back.

        You, Mugabe and Zanu PF have your quarrel with whites in Zimbabwe, the British and West in general no Zimbabwean in his right mind will allow their demand for justice and human dignity to be held hostage to other outside issues real or imaginary.

    • Anonymous says:

      Haaaa! My friend I really agree with you here. Apa wakuma wena. Chirega uzonzwa zvinotaurwa naChimbwido Warvet.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Vana Madhuku ndizvo zvavanoita kana vachona. Votanga kusumudza misoro kana pane chavakuitwa kuti tienderere mberi, pamwe pose aimbovepi Madhuku ava? Vanhu veZimbabwe chiregai kuteerera zvaana Madhuku izvi, ngatichimboendai mberi nezviripo kana zvazokona toedza zvimwe. Hatingapedzi makore nemakore tichingorwira chitehwe chembira. Forward ever , backward never.

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      So you want a yes vote because the nation has already spent five years writing this Copac constitution and you want to vote yes and move on. It is tempting to agree with you but first let us look at the facts.

      There reason why is has taken four and half years to write a document which was supposed to be ready in 18 months is because Mugabe has deliberately dragged out the whole process. He knew that many people will lose patience and would be so keen to see the whole thing concluded they will take off their eyes off what really matters – the contents of the document. That is exactly what happened.

      So Mugabe ended up “dictating” Copac; Paul Mangwana has been boasting and you only have to read the document to know that is true; and twiddle-dee and twiddle-dum lined up to add their signatures!

      Mugabe has done exactly the same thing with the democratic reforms; dragged out the whole process so not even one reform has been meaningfully implemented; not one.

      Even PM Twiddle-dee and his Siamese twin if you please Minister Twiddle-dum have woken up (belatedly as usual) to the reality that Copac is too weak and feeble to deliver free and fair elections and it is therefore imperative that the agreed reform should be implemented if there are to be free and fair election. No chance of that happening, of course.

      Mugabe has resisted implementing the reforms for the last four and half years, what is the chance of getting him to do so in the next two months? Zero!

      What Mugabe has been doing to encourage people to vote yes is making sure there is peace and quiet throughout the land; lure the gullible into a false sense of security. And it is working; the nation will not even hear a squeak from Jabulani Sibanda, Chipangano or Soldiers.

      Once Mugabe has the yes vote safely in the bag; the Zanu PF terror machine will be rolled out, this time it is well-oiled with Marange diamond money. Limbs will be broken and there will be body-bags. The only question to be settled is whether the wanton violence that will follow was the same or worse than 2008?

      The upcoming referendum is not to settle who will keep the leopard skin, as you seem to think. The nation is deciding a more profound but subtle question than that; do we want the violence of 2008 repeated this year and in future? Vote yes and Mugabe and Zanu PF will not disappoint you.

      Everyone can see nothing, absolutely nothing, has been done to stop the repeat of the 2008 violence to say nothing about free media, etc. The referendum is essential asking whether all the necessary reforms have been implemented and this Copac rubbish is the democratic constitution GPA promised. The answer to both parts has to be no. To then turn round and vote yes for some spurious reason like being tired of the whole process is not just foolhardy but recklessly so!

      • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

        Wilbert, a document that is in black and white or written down in Heaven does not offer free and fair elections at all. It is the people themselves who should brave it out and go and vote for a party of their choice who can make a change as a document that is written and easily manipulated by men does not vote. Any document no matter how precious it may appear in your eyes can be torn to pieces when the situation demands. So do not be obsessive over a piece of paper that can be changed when your political party comes to power, if ever it will.

        • wilbert_mukori says:

          If the Copac constitution stated in no uncertain terms that all politically motivated violence would be subject to an independent judiciary inquiry and these force guilty will be sentenced to a minimum of five years in jail, for example, that would end the country’s culture of violence.

          Yes we all know what you mean by “people themselves should brave it out and go and vote”. In 2008 Zimbabweans were subjected to some of the worst political violence in human history, that is what you calling “brave it”.

      • super mondo says:

        being outside a country that oppresses peoples access to information gives a better view of the truth through broadminded thinking..a no vote is the only way to get results for the democratic movement and move the revival of the country forward

  3. Simbarashe Dziruni says:

    Wake up Zimbabweans!. We must not surrender our power to politicians.This constitution was never 2 be a negotiated document between Mugabe, Tsvangirai & Mutambara

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