What do the people say?

constitution1The long expected outreach meetings are expected to start in all the provinces this week. The 70 outreach teams are expected to conduct meetings with the people in their respective wards throughout the country. There will also be numerous monitors and observers from churches, civic organisations and from political parties.

The SADC and the international community are watching the process with a lot of interest since this will be a significant step towards the resolution of the decade-long political crisis in Zimbabwe.

The majority of the people of Zimbabwe are anxious that the constitutional reform process should proceed smoothly and culminate in the adoption of a new and democratic foundation law for this country. The current constitution has been amended some 19 times, and most of the amendments have resulted in the erosion of civil liberties as the Mugabe regime has desperately sought to cling onto power.

This is also the stage at which it can be determined whether the new constitution will be people driven or not. Meaningful nationwide consultations with the people will obviously result in a people driven process.

This will have to be complemented by the production of a legitimate and authentic WHAT THE PEOPLE SAID report capturing the substantive interests of the peoples submissions. The drafters of the new constitution will rely heavily on the said report in order to craft a legitimately people driven constitution.

The fact that there are basically two substantially different preferences makes the constitutional reform process a sort of contestation arena, where the Zanu (PF) preferred Kariba draft will be countered by the strongly preferred departure from the current constitution. Reports of numerous militia bases that have been set up in some rural areas are a clear indication that some elements within the violence inclined former liberation movement may be planning some mischief.

Sadly, the nations police force can no longer be relied upon to maintain law and order; especially where the perpetrators of lawlessness and disorder are sponsored by Zanu (PF). Fortunately, there has been considerable disenchantment with the leadership of Zanu (PF) among some war veterans recently as the latter are complaining about the little money they are now receiving from the state as pensions.

It is therefore incumbent upon the monitors and observers of the electoral reform process to closely identify and record the names of the troublemakers at each of the outreach meetings. The entire goings on at these meetings must be carefully recorded so that the determination of who the spoilers are will be fair and accurate.

The three principals of the GNU, at the official launch of the outreach campaign, denounced violence and urged all Zimbabweans to participate actively and freely in the consultative meetings. I suspect that one of them was, however, speaking tongue-in-cheek since his brainwashed supporters are unlikely to heed that call.

The state media has been quite reluctant to propagate information to do with the constitutional reform process. Their argument has been that they have to be paid by Copac in order to advertise the information on meetings. That is a lot of utter rubbish, and the government should give both the ZBC and Zimpapers clear instructions about the importance of the national project. What is amazing is that these captured entities are very quick to propagate information relating to Zanu (PF) meetings without receiving any payment from the bankrupt outgoing ruling party. They would like to cash in on the constitutional reform process, which is partly funded by international donors. Zimbabwe has to write a new, democratic and people driven constitution come hail, come sunshine.

Post published in: Opinions

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