Where are the millions who voted for Zimbabwe’s ‘new’ 2013 Constitution when it’s being ravaged and raped by the ruling elite?

The past week has, arguably, been the darkest epoch in the history of our beloved Zimbabwe - possibly, up there with such events as the signing of the Rudd Concession in 1888, and enactment of the Land Apportionment Act in the 1930s - as we witnessed the first stages, in what many scholars and analysts believe, is the beginning of the repeated and relentless ravaging and raping of what had once been considered one of the most progressive Constitutions in the world.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

 

The overwhelming voting for the contentious Constitutional Amendment No. 2 Bill by the required super majority in both the House of Assembly and Senate – shockingly, with the willing aid of one of those who were at the forefront of crafting this ‘new’ supreme law of the land in 2013, more so, vehemently touting for the very sections that he now helped destroy – and, the subsequent unsurprising signing into law by the president two days ago, sank my heart to the lowest.

I had been one of those who felt overly proud of our Constitution, even loudly proclaiming it to be light-years ahead of such countries as the United States, and other so-called “torchbearers of democracy” – although, I found the ruling elite’s reluctance in aligning the country’s laws to this “mother of all laws” extremely worrisome.

Of course, we all now know why.

The country’s opportunistic ruling elite had no intention whatsoever in transforming Zimbabwe into a true democracy – as later reportedly confessed by the presidential spokesperson – and, they clearly harboured nefarious plans to ultimately ravage and rape it, by steadily reverting to the rejected and discredited repeatedly amended Lancaster House Constitution of 1979, if not worse – which bestowed fascist and imperial powers upon one person in the entire country…the president.

One of the most disturbing provisions contained in the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 2) Act 2021, is that it gives the president unchecked authority to fill the seats of the three most senior judges in the country – even though he would be required to consult with the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), he would not be required to accept any of the body’s recommendations.

Furthermore, whilst the president must inform the Senate if his decision is not consistent with the recommendations of the JSC, the Senate would not have the authority to block, or to change, or to force him to change, his decision.

If such a catastrophic law is not a counter-productive move in the direction of autocracy, then what is?

When the people of Zimbabwe, who flocked in their millions to vote, overwhelmingly, for the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013 in a referendum – what did they believe they were actually voting for?

Did those people, in all their enthusiasm and excitement, fully comprehend the historical steps they were taking in transforming Zimbabwe into one of the most democratic countries in the world – far better than those so-called “champions of democracy”?

If they did, then why are they so deafeningly silent, whilst all their gains of true independence are being wantonly and callously reversed, through the bastardization of this enviable supreme law – thereby, turning the country into nothing more than a constitutional fascist regime?

Or, perhaps, the people of Zimbabwe flocked to polling stations in 2013 solely at the behest of their political party leaders – like sheep to the slaughter – without even considering what they were actually voting in favour of?

I am so hurt. I have never been so hurt. And, I do not believe I will ever be so hurt.

How can the millions who voted for such a brilliant law, now merely and lamely watch, whilst it is being destroyed?

It is like a person who sweated blood to build his house, yet sits aside, as it is destroyed by enemies of his progress and success!

Honestly, that same Constitution that is been cold-heartedly ravaged and raped by the opportunistic ruling elite, for their own selfish power ambitions – as such an amendment does not uplift or benefit the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans in any way, but rather seeks to buttress and fortify the hold on power of only one person – still has provisions for the citizenry to express their utter disgust and rejection of such devious and undemocratic manoeuvring.

Sections 59 and 61 guarantee our right to petition, as well as to expression – which, we should be actively utilizing to the maximum, in ensuring that our resistance, objection, and aversion to such draconian amendments are clearly and unequivocally heard, and made known.

At least that is what we can do, in order to make the ruling elite know that we are overwhelmingly against these machinations – even if they ignore our concerns, as per their custom, by we would have our conscience clear, that the ordinary people did not support these Nazi-like measures.

If we are not willing to fully utilize whatever democratic tenets are left in our Constitution, then we would be covertly signaling that we are not interested in democracy and exercising our democratic rights – and, as such, subtly giving the powers-that-be the green light to take them away from us, as we clearly would not need them.

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist writer, author, and, political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263733399640, or email: [email protected]

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