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New constitution first before Makoni

WATCHING from far the political drama in Zimbabwe which faces imminent elections, I thought I should add my voice to the multitudes of voices of others.

It is apparent that Zimbabwe needs a new democratic constitution made throug

h a people-driven process, first before holding any meaningful elections. It is also equally true that President Robert Mugabe will not allow that process to happen as he has always been the major stumbling block towards any calls for change towards democracy in Zimbabwe.

It is also very true that without a proper and democratic constitution any Zimbabwean who is given the presidency whether from the opposition or from the ruling party will be like Mugabe, if not worse.

Progressive Zimbabweans represented by groupings like the National Constitutional Assembly have remained steadfast in pressing for a democratic constitution in the face of all odds. Notable progress may have been made in their endeavours, but the fact remains that Zimbabwe is yet to get a new constitution and Mugabe continues to use the Zanu PF dominated parliament to amend the constitution to suit his selfish motives.

On the political side the opposition MDC has participated many a times in elections but failed to achieve a level playing field partly because of the defective constitution and the lack of democratic institutions.

It is also true that the MDC is at its weakest point with two splinter groups trying to field separate candidates for they cannot agree on any issues of national significance. It is therefore foolproof that if the two weak formations of the MDC go to the elections in their current form and under the current tainted constitution, they will not only betray the masses by losing dismally but by legitimising the perpetuation of the tyrannical Mugabe to continue to hold fort.

Now with the advent of Simba Makoni as a breakaway from Zanu PF, people need to look closely at how Zimbabwe may move forward. It’s true that Makoni is Zanu PF at heart and has been in the chief decision making body of the party for a long time. It is true that Makoni was in the same Zanu PF that has presided over the current economic and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe. It is true that by association Makoni has been part of a regime that has denied Zimbabwean a long deserved democratic constitution.

Nevertheless, Makoni has his own illustrious history and has presented himself as courageous person whom Zimbabweans and others elsewhere may place their trust in. He has done what most Zimbabweans will not dare do — challenging a monster at its own door-step. Given that Makoni may present to Zimbabweans as a compromise and as a leader who can appeal to many people in different ways in both the opposition and the ruling party, Zimbabweans ought to try to come together and rally behind him.

What Zimbabwe needs is to get out of the current crisis through having a proper constitution and democratic elections that are done under the provisions of a democratic constitution. It is prudent for all forces, the MDC included, to rally behind Makoni and clearly make it apparent to him that Zimbabwe needs a new constitution and democratic institutions first.

Maxwell Saungweme,


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