Don’t mess with new Constitution: Dabengwa warns Mugabe

ZAPU President Dumiso Dabengwa has warned of a public backlash if President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party proceed on their unpopular path to overturn the wishes of the people in the current constitution-making process.


Dabengwa told a public meeting last week that any attempts by Mugabe, to make self serving constitutional changes during the current drafting process was foolhardy.

“Once a constitution has been passed by the person; that is the people’s constitution and no individual, no matter what position he has, has the right to subvert it,” Dabengwa said.

“The people of Zimbabwe would stand up to it. The people would be able to stand up and say ‘No we will not accept that manipulation’.”

Dabengwa said ZAPU and the majority of Zimbabweans had made it overwhelmingly clear during the Copac outreach programme they preferred devolution of power.

But Mugabe was trying to block the popular idea from seeing the light of day.

He urged Copac not be distracted by repeated calls for the abandonment of the process by Zanu (PF) politicians.

“What is most important is what the people said and from the indications that have already been given by Copac, it looks like they captured most of the issues raised during the consultative process,” he said.

“The drafters of this constitution are the same drafters who drafted the 1999 constitution and they already have that expertise and experience. We hope this time they will be more careful to ensure that what the people said is not changed to other people’s thinking.”

The former PF ZAPU intelligence supremo was quick to add that the adoption of a new constitution would not guarantee good governance under the Mugabe regime.

“A new constitution can set the frame for a democratic election but it cannot itself guarantee free and fair elections,” said Dabengwa.

“Individual politicians and political parties can either guarantee the framework or subvert it”.

“The constitution must contain provisions that guarantee the separation of powers such that there is no abuse of power by any organ of the state.”

Dabengwa, who together with a group of former PF ZAPU stalwarts broke out of Zanu (PF)in 2008 to revive the party, said Mugabe had benefited unfairly from the severely lacerated Lancaster House Constitution.

Post published in: News
  1. ndlovu simon

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