Politics with John Makumbe

A deceptive and demented document
On Friday last week, the pro-state church leaders launched their National Vision Document at the Catholic University in Harare. President Robert Mugabe also attended the launch and he threw the first stone at the men and women of the cloth.
His gripe with the

ir document was focused on the inclusion of the need for a “home-grown” national constitution for Zimbabwe. Mugabe defended the much amended and tattered Lancaster House Constitution that his beleaguered party has amended some seventeen times to date. His argument was that since the attainment of national independence, the Lancaster House Constitution has been transformed into something akin to a home-grown foundation law.
He totally failed to realise that most, if not all, of the 17 amendments have essentially been Zanu (PF) rather than national considerations. The pro-state Pastors must have been thinking of a constitution that is a result of widespread consultations and popular participation by the citizenry of Zimbabwe. Mugabe, for his part, imagines that since his decaying political party spearheaded all the constitutional amendments, then it would be a grave admission of guilt to allow the churchmen and women to denigrate that document as being Zanu (PF)-grown but not home-grown.
It will be interesting to find out how the pro-state church leaders will handle this first stone. The National Constitutional Assembly has been adamant that the current Constitution of Zimbabwe is nothing but a deceptive and demented document that only seeks to promote and protect the interests of a few hooligans in Zanu (PF). Indeed, the majority of the citizens of Zimbabwe have indicated that they feel exactly the same way. The proposed National Vision has to start from the premise that Zimbabwe urgently needs a home grown and democratic national constitution.
We must not forget that the pro-state church leaders are essentially implementing Mugabe’s initiative following his four-hour lunch with them at State House a few months ago. Through that deceptive action, Mugabe managed to divide the church into two camps, with the Christian Alliance being viewed by the “pro-staters” as “a fringe organisation” in the church.
Further, the fact that the pro-state church leaders openly rejected regime change as constituting part of the expected national vision clearly places them at variance with the majority of Zimbabweans. Without regime change, every national vision will simply be a nightmare. Since the late 1990s we have been sold all manner of “visions” such as MERP, NERP, now there is NEDPP.
None of these nightmares envisaged regime change as the crucial ingredient for the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis. The national vision that the pro-state clergy are soliciting will fall flat if it will not begin from the premise that the political situation currently prevailing in Zimbabwe is basically rotten, and that it stinks to high heaven. There will be no realistic national vision for Zimbabwe without regime change.
The pro-state clergy further castigated those of us who have publicly been blaming the Mugabe regime for countless crimes against the people of this country. The clergy claimed that they were not in the business of blaming anyone for anything. That is quite interesting, and it certainly made Mugabe very happy.
In other words, the pro-state church persons do not blame the Mugabe regime for such gross misdemeanours as Operation Murambatsvina, Gukurahundi and the numerous crimes against humanity that Mugabe has committed over the years. They will also not blame the predatory Zanu (PF) regime for the rampant corruption that has crippled this nation’s economy. It therefore befuddles the mind what national vision the pro-state church persons are expecting to forge in the next few weeks. We wait and see. Time is on the people’s side.

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