We want a better Constitution now


HARARE – Zimbabwe’s parliamentarians, who are nothing but rubber stamps for their respective political parties, “adopted and approved” that ridiculous draft constitution.

I cannot believe that in the whole Parliament there were no dissenting voices to trumpet against the regression that this document invites.

Not long ago, the MDC was making a lot of noise, demanding a new “people-driven Constitution” but after jumping onto the gravy train, they negotiated a political party-driven constitution.

Just after concluding the crafting of the document, the three political parties let it be known that they were not happy with the draft and promised to amend it as soon as they get elected into power.

Calling it “a transitional document”, they all want us to vote ‘yes’ for its acceptance.

It took America more than 200 years to add 27 amendments to their Constitution yet in just 30 years, we had amended ours 19 times.

Now, we have a group of imbeciles from across the political divide who are already promising to amend a constitution they wrote and which has not even been adopted.

God have mercy!

A Constitution does not emanate from special interest groups or individuals, it emanates from the people of the land as they put down a binding willingness to be ruled and governed by laws they make for themselves and for their people.

Lovemore Madhuku and his National Constitutional Assembly appear to be the sole voices in opposition to this constitution.

Those who oppose the NCA’s position say that “while the draft is not perfect it is much better than the existing Lancaster House Constitution”.

This shows how little some people understand the purpose of a Constitution.

We write a Constitution to guide us over generations and amending such a document should be a laborious exercise, not something that can be done as a reaction to what some dictator wakes up thinking one morning.

Some within the three political parties that took part in the drafting of the Constitution did not even have a right to represent anyone on such a panel.

We do not want a Constitution that “is better than the Lancaster House Constitution”; we want a decent “people-driven” Constitution unique to Zimbabwe. The Lancaster House document should not be used as a yardstick. Surely, we are good enough to be original! Surely, we know what we want.

Those who support this wretched document say there are improvements in the draft Constitution, “but the good has been mixed with some bad points”.

If we accept that something is warped, why don’t we hammer it straight before inserting it into our Constitution?

And they say the forthcoming referendum gives the country “an opportunity to end the long search for reforms”. That is hogwash.

Reforms could have been initiated with or without a Constitution. Did they need a Constitution to introduce Posa and Aippa, for those laws were reforms too, albeit negative and evil ones?

These three political parties are misleading the people and the nation. This draft Constitution is not good and all those nagging emotive issues must be revisited and thrown to the people, who, actually, ought to be the architects of the Constitution, not Douglas Mwonzora, Paul Mangwana and all those hungry hangers on who spent more than $45 million dollars to come up with such a dreadful, deplorable draft that we, as decent people, can’t use.

Why can’t we expect and get the Constitution we deserve; a Constitution we want?

It is our Constitution and it is supposed to come from us.

The fact that these people, who hardly agree on anything, including the draft Constitution itself, are agreeing to have it passed must send alarm bells to all Zimbabweans.

Mangwana even had the gall to accuse the media “of fabricating divisions within Copac and misrepresenting delicate information”.

First, the media did no such thing.

Secondly, what kind of Constitution contains “delicate information”? Are we talking about our country’s Constitution, a public document that should be translated into as many languages as there are in Zimbabwe so that everyone and anyone who wants it can have it?

Our Constitution has delicate information that should not be known by the people?

Zimbabwe deserves a better Constitution than what our politically-defective parliamentarians accepted and adopted.

The Constitution of the United States has something we should have borrowed. Remember the line that goes: “Congress shall make no law…”?

Yea! It is the First Amendment of the US constitution; it is a law that prevents lawmakers from making laws!

Now, that is what I call a Constitution!

As for Mangwana, Mwonzora and their gang, please, take this draft constitution of yours and shove it; I am voting no! – Tanonoka Joseph Whande

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