The publication of the said draft was followed by articles trashing and discrediting the contents of the draft with the co- Chairperson of COPAC, Paul Mangwana highlighting that President Mugabe will not sign into law a document which could potentially end his three decade strangle hold on power. Today, 13 February, The Herald also published an article vilifying the drafters and calling for their dismissal.
ZANU PF in typical fashion have labeled their version of the draft constitution ‘a regime change document targeted at Robert Mugabe’ clearly indicating the bankruptcy of ideas within ZANU PF and their desperation to deprive Zimbabweans their right to author a new constitution.
It is apparent that ZANU PF is indomitable in ensuring that the constitution does not see the light of day. The political party obviously failed to influence the contents of the draft at a technical level and is now banking on making noise to try and derail the process. Dismissing the said draft constitution and questioning the ‘goodwill’ of ZANU PF, the spokesperson of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Mr. Thabani Nyoni said;
‘What we all need to appreciate is that there have been individuals within the inclusive government delaying democratic consolidation in Zimbabwe. The constitution making process is a key facet of democracy. The document, whether real or doctored, was leaked to corrode public confidence in the constitution making process. This is a build up to a scenario where the country reverts back to the Lancaster House Constitution giving ZANUPF leverage to return to the old establishment.’
Constitutions are made for posterity and Zimbabweans have every right to author a constitution that reflects their views and aspirations. For ZANU PF to dismiss what the people of Zimbabwe said during the outreach exercise on the basis that it is not in tandem with the aspirations of the political party is a negation of the citizens’ rights to self determination.
ZANU PF should should allow the process to run its course and stop interfering. Pre- empting the content and trying to influence public opinion before a draft constitution is officially released by COPAC is retrogressive to fostering citizen engagement with the constitution making process.
Zimbabweans should be weary of politicians who want to hijack the constitution making process for the fear that it will bring with it reforms that will lead to their defeat in the forthcoming elections.Post published in: News