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Zanu PF rejects charter for selfish reasons

President Mugabe’s party is unashamedly trying to armtwist the MDC formations by declaring that if the parties want the constitution-making process to succeed, they should agree to the proposed amendments by Zanu PF.
The former ruling party made their life difficult by delaying to agree on the draft constitution and now, they have to play second fiddle to the MDC formations. Zanu PF is, among other things, against the establishment of the constitutional court, the dilution of powers of the traditional leaders and the restructuring of the office of the Attorney-General.

All these were however, agreed upon by Zanu PF’s representatives at Copac. Negotiators Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche represented the party together with their Copac co-chairman, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana. They worked together from day one with their counterparts from the MDC formations. They all agreed that the draft constitution contained what the people had said, during the outreach programme. In Zanu PF’s wisdom, or lack of it, they have now decided to judge the document on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe. Why not let the people decide at the referendum? They have the nerve to tell us that the proposed amendments are for the good of the general people of Zimbabwe. Only a fool will believe the big lie.

It is now clear who is delaying the whole constitution-making process. As the former ruling party stares defeat in the next plebiscite; is it not wise to look beyond President Mugabe? The argument behind the hawks in the party, who are leading the rejection of the draft constitution is that the new charter, if adopted as it is, would make the president a “clerical” one. Put simply they want the president to be answerable to nobody — dictatorship style. While they appear to fight in Mugabe’s corner, unbeknown to them, the coming elections could usher in a new president who is not Mugabe. With the pointer indicating otherwise, Zanu PF is advised to democratise the constitution, if not for the nation then at least for their own survival.

They would not want Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) and Public Order and Security Act (Posa) to be used in suppressing their voices when they would be in opposition, neither would they want to be denied bail only because one person in the name of the president wants it that way.

If Zanu PF wants, it can campaign for a “NO” vote, Madhuku’s National Constituional Assembly is waiting for partners to campaign for a “NO” vote.

We have invested in this new Constitution, we cannot be forced to abandon it, not at this stage. Vimbai Chivaura and company can continue to rattle but the elephant will never stop walking because of a mere barking dog.

Meanwhile, it was good that President Mugabe intervened when an organised group of people jeered at Morgan Tsvangirai when he arrived at the Heroes Acre. The more they show personal hatred for Tsvangirai, the more they make him more popular. Zimbabwe will never be the same again. Be part of the solution, register to vote and when the time comes, vote wisely.



Mamuse Maunganidze

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