NCA take charge…threatening no vote

nca_zimbabweCHITUNGWIZA - The National Constitutional Assembly has vowed to campaign for a NO vote if any government-led constitution making bodies produced a draft constitution without involving the people. (Pictured: A recent NCA protest march against a government-led constitution making process)

This was agreed at the NCA-organised second national peoples constitutional convention on July 27 at the Chitungwiza aquatic centre, attended by 4,000 people. It was themed: Take Charge we the people shall write our own constitution. Participants included the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINSU), the Zimbabwe Chamber of the Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA), and the National Council for Disabled Persons in Zimbabwe (NCDPZ), who mandated the NCA to lead this constitutional reform process.

At the meeting attendees agreed to start civic education against Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement and the all-stakeholder programme only no mention of educating people on what constitutions can and should do – and to continue this until a referendum. Then it would campaign for a No vote, irrespective of what the draft constitution contained. Then it would continue to lead and assist the people to continue in earnest with the campaign for a democratic constitution.

Like the all-stakeholder programme, the NCA wants gender equality and recognition of the special needs of disabled people: this is all the convention agreement offered in positive terms.

The meeting agreed eight points:
1. We unreservedly recommit ourselves to the principles and resolutions articulated 10 years ago by the National Working Peoples Convention as well as the first Peoples Constitutional Convention in 1999 and as outlined as recently as 2008 in the Zimbabwe Peoples Charter. We hold that these principles that outline what we know and believe to be a truly people driven constitution making process hold true today and remain non-negotiable.
2. Because of the principles enunciated above, we therefore unreservedly reject the government-led process for constitutional reform as outlined in article 6 of the Global Political Agreement and strongly recommend that the current process as being led by parliament and the inclusive government be immediately stopped and an independent, democratic constitutional reform process be initiated.
3. We resolve that if the inclusive government and or parliament do not heed our call to cease forthwith the constitutional reform process as out lined in Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement, we will actively seek a rejection of any draft constitution produced by the same process through campaigning for a NO vote should that draft be brought to a referendum.
4. We further resolve that the people of Zimbabwe have an inalienable right to reject or accept any draft constitution brought before them and that if they so decide to reject any document that comes out of the GPAs article 6 it remains their democratic right to do so.
5. That after such a possible rejection of a draft constitution that emerges from the Article 6 process we will continue to lead and assist the people to continue in earnest with the campaign for a democratic constitution as soon as possible after that No vote.
6. We further resolve that we shall undertake and expand our civic education programme to explain to the people of Zimbabwe the resolutions outlined herein beginning in the month of August 2009 until such time there is a people driven democratic constitution for Zimbabwe.
7. We also recommit ourselves to ensuring that there is gender equality and recognition of the views and needs of the physically challenged in our Take Charge campaign.
8. We re-emphasise that the ZCTU, ZINASU, ZCIEA and NCDPZ and other civic society organisations attending this convention continue to mandate the NCA to lead the constitution reform process.

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