Citizens back NCA approach to const reforms

lovemore_madhuku_nca(Pictured: NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku says citizens and not political leaders should take charge of constitutional reform process)

HARARE — A survey by the Harare-based Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) has?shown that Zimbabweans prefer a people-driven constitutional reform process advocated by the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and its labour and student movement allies.

A current exercise to write a new governance charter for Zimbabwe is led by Parliament through the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC).

But the MPOI report suggests the majority of Zimbabweans would have preferred the task to draft the new charter handled by all stakeholders and not political parties represented in Parliament.

Significantly, among those who have heard about the constitution (42%) prefer the NCA ‘people-led’ approach to constitution making ?compared to 28% who prefer the COPAC-led one, ” said the report. ?

The report also says that close to 60 percent of Zimbabweans are against use of the controversial Kariba constitution as the basis of the new governance charter.

“Close to 60% condemned the use of the Kariba draft as a reference ?document in drawing up a new constitution for Zimbabwe, ” the MPOI report reads in part.

Zanu (PF) and the two MDC formations of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara secretly authored the Kariba Draft in 2007 but critics say the document should be discarded because it leaves Mugabes immense powers untouched.

Reacting to the MPOI report Zanu (PF) director of information Steven Chidawanyika said: “COPAC should not be compared with NCA because it is driving the ?process. COPAC was mandated by the law to do the constitution making process ?and NCA was not and will never be.”??

A MPOI official Anyway Ndapwadza said: “We ?could not ignore NCA because of the role it has played in (educating)?Zimbabwean people on constitution matters over the years.”?

The NCA that 10 years ago successfully mobilised for the rejection of a proposed a draft constitution sponsored by Mugabe and his ruling Zanu (PF) party says it has already begun mobilising Zimbabweans to reject any draft constitution produced by the unity government.

The NCA, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and the Zimbabwe National Students Union worked with then opposition leader Tsvangirai and his united MDC party to defeat the government draft constitution in 2000.

The MDC that later split into two formations is now part of the unity government with Mugabes Zanu (PF) and backs the government-led constitutional reform process although the former opposition is against the Kariba draft.

Zimbabweans hope a new constitution will guarantee human rights, strengthen the role of Parliament and curtail the president’s powers, as well as guaranteeing civil, political and media freedoms.

Post published in: Politics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *