NCA isolated in rejecting draft constitution

Lovemore Madhuku

By Tichaona Sibanda
06 February 2013

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) could turn out to be the only civil society organisation urging a no vote on the draft constitution, sources in Harare said on Wednesday.

SW Radio Africa was informed that a group of civic leaders met in the capital on Tuesday to discuss the stance adopted by the NCA. Lovemore Madhuku, the chairman of the pressure group, had earlier in the day announced they would ask Zimbabweans to reject the COPAC draft because it was ‘neither people-driven nor democratic.’

Madhuku told journalists his organisation was confident of getting enough support to defeat the draft at a referendum, expected at the end of March.

All parties to the GPA have said they will be campaigning for the approval of the draft. A source said the ‘Yes’ team brings together political rivals from ZANU PF and the two MDC formations, to form a formidable camp.

Others opposed to the NCA stance said that while the draft is not perfect it is much better than the existing Lancaster House constitution.

‘There are improvements in the draft constitution, but the good has been mixed with some bad points that the NCA highlighted. There is word already that the CSO’s will urge Zimbabwe to turn out in large numbers and vote for the proposed constitution,’ the source said.

He said there is a belief that the forthcoming referendum gives the country an opportunity to end the long search for reforms.

‘People in the CSO’s are saying the time has come for Zimbabweans to make a decision that will lead to the re-birth of a new republic. They will campaign for all Zimbabweans to vote Yes so that the proposed constitution passes with an overwhelming majority.

‘They fear that supporters of the draft constitution who will not vote will indirectly give a boost to the No camp,’ our source added.

Meanwhile Douglas Mwonzora, the COPAC co-chairman representing the MDC-T, on Wednesday presented a draft copy of the constitution and full report of the exercise to Parliament. He was seconded by Paul Mangwana, the COPAC chair from ZANU PF. MPs from all sides of the House adopted the motion, triggering singing and ululation in Parliament.

It’s believed by next week the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will effectively take over the baton for the last phase on the road to a new constitution, by preparing the public for the referendum.

The public vote has to take place within 60 days of the publication of the proposed constitution. ZEC will have 30 days to conduct civic education on the issue.

But if politicians don’t abide by constitutional rights, it doesn’t matter what is written in the new constitution.

18 Responsesto “NCA isolated in rejecting draft constitution”

  1. super mondo says:

    well the sources are wrong the truth is a lot of people will vote no,iam not a member of nca but they give good advice on many issues.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are Super mondo yematuzvi eZANU(PF) or just a moron ? The people of Zimbabwe are going to vote for yes. We are tired of this ZANU(PF) government. Let`s go forward and see what next.

      • GBZ says:

        Sir, I respect your views, but I believe God would not vote yes for this outrageously corrupt document designed only for party power and does not serve the will of the people of Zimbabwe, then neither can I bring myself to vote for it. I will vote NO, and we cannot assume all will be well when we let this through as it is without question an insult to the people of this Land!

      • super mondo says:

        the constitution is designed for zanu protection not the aspirations of the people and their rights.if its wrong now it will be wrong always.

      • wilbert_mukori says:

        Have you read the document or you are going by what Tsvangirai told you? Mugabe “dictated” this document and Tsvangirai signed on the dotted line without even reading it. Why don’t you read it for yourself?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Forward ever , backwards never ! Aluta continua ! Let us contiue ! Handei pamberi !. There is no turning back. Zvaana Madhuku izvi siyanai nazvo , vanotsvaka kungoda kudya zvokupara sehuku.

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      I know you would walk straight into a pit of vipers as long as you are moving forward. You donot even realize you are going in the wrong direction!

  3. wilbert_mukori says:

    Sadly Zimbabwe’s CSO is not exactly renowned for making sound judgments; more often than not they are as dysfunctional as the GNU! A number of the CSO attended the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference to discuss the Copac draft as invited guests of one of the political parties in the GNU. After all the hoo-ha and expense; they generated more heat than light!

    “While the (Copac) draft is not perfect it is much better than the existing Lancaster House constitution (LHC),” CSO source said. The GNU was tasked in the GPA to write “a democratic constitution to deliver free and fair elections whose results will not be in dispute!” The GPA had already acknowledged the LHC was not fit for purpose.

    A few weeks ago, Human Rights Watch report warned against the many serious shortcomings in the Copac constitution including the failure to have meaningful media reforms. Clearly none of the local CSO read the report.

    In a country with no free public media and the little private media there is is muzzled by oppressive laws such as AIPPA and POSA many Zimbabweans will be looking to the CSO for guidance as to how they should vote in the referendum. So instead of telling the public about how this Copac constitution will not stop the scourge of violence, for example, and therefore they should reject it. They answer a question no one ever asked just to muddy the waters and mislead the voters into voting yes.

    The ancient Greeks used to consult Oracles at times like this; and they got some very clever and mysterious advice with two or three meanings. If Zimbabwe’s CSO are the modern day Oracles; well s****t!

  4. Chimbwidos Warvets says:

    Oh no no Gosh Aah, they are all big time losers. The COPAC draft constitution has stood the taste of time and what next for Wilbert Mukori now. ‘The GNU was tasked in the GPA to write ‘a democratic constitution to deliver free and fair elections whose result will not be in dispute’. I asked our political commentator to give his blue print as to how this was going to be possible but he is yet to respond. Oh Wilbert, no matter how much you try, nobody is really taking notice. Their comments below is clear testimony that you are now a big time loner and loser. They have the faith and trust in their leaders and the COPAC initiative in particular as it captures the will of the Zimbabwean people.

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      Did you know that 82% of the “O” students failed to pass five subjects or more. And these young men and women will be joining the army of the unemployed, 80%. This is a lost generation and for no fault of their own.

      In 2008 these students had a total of 23 school days, they learnt nothing that year and the following year they were pushed on like cattle.

      year, this GNU spent three times as much on overseas trips for Mugabe,
      Tsvangirai and a few others – just overseas trip alone not counting what the
      nation is paying for Mugabe’s daughter for her umpteenth degree or Tsvangirai’s
      US$ 3 million mansion, etc. – than it spent on the country’s 300 000 schools!
      It is this corrupt and dysfunctional GNU that condemned these 82% failed “O”
      level students to a life time of hopelessness and despair!

      When you say the people “have the faith and trust in their leaders” I am sure you are not counting these failed students, or their parents, or the 80% unemployed, etc. I have to ask you who these people are?

  5. Muktar Sayad says:

    The three principle partners which includes the two MDCs’ have consented their approval on the draft and just today Parliament did the same. It will now go to a referendum. The draft as bad as it is in its current draft will be sold to Zimbabweans through a massive “yes” campaign paid for by the GNU. They have the resources whereas the NCA has literally nothing and even if they do they will have to dig into their tiny pockets. Whichever way the NCA turns it is caught between a rock and a hard place”

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      Yes those fighting for a NO vote are “caught between a rock and a hard
      place” but they have something that the regime does not have and will
      never have – their secret weapon if you like – the truth! No amount of
      propaganda and lies can bury the facts, the glaring realities, the truth:

      1) that there will be no free and fair elections with not free media,
      independent judiciary, a high partisan Police, Army and CIO.

      2) that in five years MDC has failed to carry out the necessary reforms, the
      democratic changes, that would have freed the media, etc.

      3) that this Copac Constitution, “dictated” by Mugabe, a tyrant, and
      rubber stamped by MDC, twiddle-dee and twiddle-dum, is too weak and feeble to deliver any of the basic rights, freedoms and liberties denied us all these last 33 years, including the right to free and fair elections and the right to life itself.

      4) that the 2013 elections if people make the grave mistake of voting yes in the referendum will be marred by violence. Mugabe and Zanu PF will roll out their terror machine, this time it is well-oiled with money from sell illegally mined Marange diamonds.

      5) that another fraudulent and undemocratic election will produce another
      government of self-serving leaders, who care more about the good life offered on the gravy train then the suffering and unnecessary deaths of the ordinary people.

      Mugabe and Zanu PF have all the government machinery, etc. but 33 years of corruption and ruthless oppression cannot be hidden from sight. It is like the sea, where can you find a hole big enough to take all that water!

      • Muktar Sayad says:

        How I wish that the truth could prevail in our politics in Zimbabwe particularly when it comes to Zanu PF and the leadership

  6. Mike Rook says:

    The proposed Constitution is filled with ambiguity and totally flawed and must be rejected. Cde Chimbwidos do you think the Chinese had a hand in its drafting?

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      At least “Motor Mouth” Mwonzora must have been inspired by the Chinese when he came up with his greatest “gain” of a fixed two five-year term for the president. We the electorate will be beaten, raped and hundreds killed as we are forced to vote for whoever Zanu PF want us to vote for; that is acceptable to Motor Mouth. All he wanted was that he serve a fixed term! The Chinese are better off, the get their dictator imposed and do not have to pay for it in beatings,etc.!

      Motor Mouth, what the people of Zimbabwe wanted above all the rubbish you are giving them is that they have a meaningful say in who becomes president and not one imposed on them through fraudulent and undemocratic election!

  7. Mike Rook says:

    Cde Chimbwidos this is outrageous. Just read this …

    MINISTERS from the three main parties in the coalition government are demanding exit packages consisting of houses in leafy suburbs, residential stands and top-of-the-range vehicles which they want delivered before the government of national unity (GNU)’s tenure ends in June.

    Zimbabwe has a bloated cabinet comprising President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, one vice-president after the recent death of John Nkomo, two deputy prime ministers and 35 cabinet ministers. There are also six ministers of state and 18 deputy ministers who are all expecting a “golden handshake” before they leave office.

    The exit packages would cost the bankrupt Treasury millions of dollars in hard currency.

    In addition, MPs are also pressing for vehicles, claiming the ones they were given at the beginning of their current tenure are now in bad shape, especially after taking a battering during the constitution-making exercise.

    Most legislators hired out their vehicles to Copac and were paid for the services. MPs are also demanding residential stands.

    The House of Assembly started off with 210 legislators, but that number is now down to 190 because of deaths and suspensions. The senate had 93 members, a third of them unelected, among them 10 chiefs, 10 governors and those appointed by the principals. There are now 80 left.

    Mugabe, in consultation with premier Morgan Tsvangirai, is expected to proclaim election dates soon, which would mark the end of the inclusive government.

    Cabinet ministers — who made a fuss about cars when they came into office four years ago — are, however, demanding golden handshakes before leaving office and have in recent high profile government meetings, including cabinet, pressed Mugabe to ensure their demands are met.

    “It seems the ministers are drawing strength from the fact that they know the GNU built houses for Tsvangirai, the vice-presidents and the deputy prime ministers.

    “The ministers’ demands are likely to leave the fiscus drained if they are met and raise questions on the government’s priorities,” a source said.

    I am reminded of George Orwell’s Animal Farm …

    “No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

    • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

      If you want to be believed and understood, all you need is to provide evidence and sources of your information. You can write a beautiful thesis, but for as long as it is not backed by credible sources of information, nobody will take you seriously. It becomes even more serious academic misconduct for our intellectuals like you to make your own report which has no basis hopping you could hoodwink Chimbwidos. Let us engage in serious debate mate.

  8. Mike Rook says:

    Chimbwidos (he who must be obeyed). I would have to get up very early in the morning to hoodwink you. Don’t you realise I am expressing an opinion, not issuing an irrefutable edict.

    I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to
    say it. Voltaire

    Rinamanyanga hariputirwi mushushunje.

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