Casualties of the constitutional reform process

makumbe_headerTaking your eyes off the ball can result in you walking into a brick wall
Change is dynamic; it has to be handled very thoughtfully, otherwise it can ......

throw you off the rails and straight into the bottomless pit. In politics, change has the uncanny tendency to cause even some of the most astute fellows to lose their way and end up walking up a cal de sac and being off-leaded into the dustbin of political malcontents.

The now-you-see-it and now-you- dont constitutional reform process in Zimbabwe has thrown off several individuals and organizations that previously used to be considered to be gurus in law-making and civic promotion. Take, for example, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), whose core business was originally to ensure that Zimbabwe develops a democratic, people driven constitution. Since its formation in 1997, the NCA has persistently and consistently pursued this goal or objective without flinching.

The recent proposition by the government of national unity (GNU) to have the constitutional reform process led by Members of Parliament (MPs) seems to have thrown the NCA off-target in that the once progressive organization has totally failed to read the mood of the people of this country vis–vis this critical matter of national transition to democracy. True to its core business, the NCA has condemned the Copac led process as inconsistent with the writing of a people-driven constitution.

The mood of the people of Zimbabwe is that it is imperative that a new and democratic constitution be written before the holding of the next elections if meaningful democracy is to be attained in the long run in this country. The people of this country have rightly determined that to be people-driven, the proposed constitution will have to legitimately take into account the views and wishes of the people as expressed through the outreach meetings that will be conducted by Copac throughout the country. But this is not good enough for the arrogant NCA, which has vowed to campaign for the NO vote at the referendum later this year.

What is most pathetic is that as a result of this stance by the NCA leadership, the organization has dug itself into a bottomless pit. The NCA now only exists on paper or in the utterances of good old Madhuku and, occasionally Mudzengi. Most of the other officials of the NCA have sine left the organization for less embarrassing engagements elsewhere. It is ironic that the very process that is its core business has knocked the NCA out of civic action. But the NCA is not alone in this unfortunate development. In the past, we have seen guys like Jonathan Moyo also take the wrong turn by seeking to democratize the undemocratic Zanu (PF) through the infamous Tsholotsho debacle. The man is still paying for his sins having been left out of the recently announced Politburo of that sickly political party when almost every idiot got on board. Poor Johno!

Then there was the good Professor, Ago Mutambara, who walked up a dead end when he agreed to head the Welshman Ncube faction of the MDC. It is only now that Mutambara realizes that he dares not stand for another election except as part and parcel of some larger-than-life figure. The man is too proud to submit to Morgan Tsvangirai of the all-powerful MDC-T, so he seems to have thrown in his lot with a fellow loser of the 2008 elections, Robert Mugabe.

The two speak the same language these days, especially with regard to the so-called illegal sanctions against Bob and the Waiters. Change demands that those who get involved in its processes be mindful of the various facets of the ultimate goal. Taking your eyes off the ball can result in you walking into a brick wall. Welcome to Zimbabwe.

Post published in: Opinions

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