We were right to mistrust reforms

 - Madhuku
HARARE - The National Constitutional Assembly has urged Zimbabwe to adopt a genuinely democratic new constitution, saying that was the only way of curbing extremes of State heavy-handedness used to crush opposition and civil society protests over the past week.


Caption: Madhuku won the 2000 Constitution referendum and is now on the campaign trail again
 

 The NCA, a broad alliance of opposition parties, church groups, trades unions and civil organisations, said the State crackdown on the opposition, including the arrest of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai last week, undermined all efforts and arguments for a credible election and exposed the deepening structural repression in the country. “It was an act designed to provoke the nation,” said Dr Lovemore Madhuku, the chairman of the NCA, formed 10 years ago to highlight what they believed to be the shortcomings of the much-amended Lancaster House constitution.
“The arrest vindicates the NCA and the broader civil society’s distrust of the so-called talks and the ‘reforms’ the negotiators have been making on behalf of Zimbabweans. As seen with the ban on the MDC rally and the subsequent arrest of Tsvangirai, the ‘reformed’ Public Order and Security Act remains as fascist and repressive. The amended version of the Act, ignorantly rushed through Parliament, erodes freedom of association and expression.
“Despite the rhetoric of the proponents of these reforms, they serve to give a veil of morality to bad laws,” Madhuku said.
He ruled out the possibility of a free and fair election with the current Constitution in place and pointed out that the 18 constitutional amendments passed since 1980 had concentrated power in the hands of the president.

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