Leave Constitution to the people

HARARE - The constitution-making process has been a mess thus far, yet the people of Zimbabwe have maintained some measure of hope that sanity will prevail.

And that whatever comes out of this process would at the very minimum, allow society to move forward and positively so.

Unfortunately, the Copac drama has not stopped as President Robert Mugabe, against all reason insists that he and two other Principals will sit down and finalise the constitution.

The mere fact that we have Principals representing three divergent political views, tells us that Zimbabwe is not a monarch but a constitutional democracy.

And in democracy no single grouping can appropriate matters of the state, more so a fundamental national document as the constitution to themselves.

This is most shocking especially as Mugabe insists the constitution must reflect the people’s views.

Does he mean the views of the three Principals or the majority of us we ask?

If there has been any doubt on the huge appetite for power and control by Mugabe, then nothing surpasses this latest move.

The President wants to sit down and write a constitution for us, he is the sovereign, he is the people we are told.

The gullible and myopic state-owned media has been singing praise songs encouraging this nonsense.  

The constitution process must be left to Parliament and the people to decide. Our Parliament is far from perfect.

There are clowns in there that we wonder how they ever ended up as MPs, yet even in their madness, the place provides for debate and it provides some space for citizens to pressure and raise concerns with their MPs.

The draft must therefore be finalised in Parliament with the final verdict lying with the people.
It baffles the mind why Mugabe thinks he can and should dictate the process of the Constitution.
This betrays his true intentions that he has never been for a people-driven Constitution.

It is important in this regard that both Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and DPM Arthur Mutambara reject being used by Mugabe in his quest for total power.

The President has unashamedly disregarded the democratic sanctity of the separation of powers, choosing instead to abrogate all powers to himself.

He has mocked parliamentarians leading this process as power-hungry but missing the irony in his mockery that it is in fact him, who is power hungry.
While this messed-up process had been tolerated up to now, the insistence by Mugabe on taking over this document and writing what he desires, purportedly on behalf of all, is the final nail on this process.

It also has to be questioned whether Mugabe is not deliberately sabotaging the process so that he can have his way through the Lancaster House Constitution.

This is so because it makes nosense to demand that three people decide on a constitution that touches on the lives of millions.  

For this reason, Tsvangirai, and Mutambara must insist this process be finalised in Parliament and that the debate on whatever took place at the Second All-Stakeholders’ conference be staged in Parliament.

The final draft must be opened to input by all including civil society.

It is only through a transparent and open debate that the Copac draft could get anywhere near being acceptable.

As things stand, Mugabe is confirming this process was never about people, but about him.

It will be sad if three people sitting over pancakes and tea decide the future for us, in their supposed infinite wisdom.

Such a move undermines the whole consultative process and is an insult to the millions of dollars poured into this process.

If the executive had every intention of writing the constitution on their own, and then they should as well have done so two years ago rather than pretend to be with and for the people.  

Mugabe must be told in no uncertain terms he is offside.

And his statements might as well be another reason why Zanu PF needs another candidate come 2013.

As citizens, we need to claw back from our slumber and demand what is rightfully ours. - David Mutomba

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