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  • NCA calls on Zimbabweans to join in protests
    The Zimbabwe Times
    November 19, 2008

    The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) yesterday called on Zimbabweans to join its second round of street protests next week, aimed at demanding a transitional authority to re-write the national constitution and conduct free and fair elections.

    The NCA - the largest civic organisation - says a transitional authority, and not a government of national unity between Zimbabwe's main political parties, would be best placed to break the country's long-standing political and economic crisis.

    NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku told The Zimbabwe Times Wednesday that his organization would stage demonstrations regularly until a solution to the country's crisis is found.

    "In the past, the NCA has staged a number of street protests across the country," said Madhuku. "Once again, we make a call on the people of Zimbabwe to protest regularly and consistently (every week) until a resolution to the political crisis engulfing our country is found and implemented."

    He said the protests were meant to press for a transitional authority - not a government - whose mandate would be to address Zimbabwe's humanitarian crisis and the writing by the people of a democratic constitution.

    "With a democratic constitution in place, elections should be held freely and fairly to elect the country's political leadership under the terms of that constitution," said Madhuku. "The country will then need to be governed through such a constitution."

    Madhuku said democracy and freedom would not come easily for the people of Zimbabwe.

    "Democracy will sure not come tomorrow, and perhaps any time sooner, but it certainly will never come until and unless we fight for it," he said. "This Tuesday, as with next Tuesday and the next, the NCA will keep organizing and mobilizing until our country is governed in accordance with the will of the people."

    In last week's protests, Madhuku who was to lead was detained by the police for four hours.

    The push by the NCA for a transitional authority comes amid increasing fears that a September 15 power-sharing deal between Mugabe, Tsvangirai and the head of a breakaway faction of the MDC, Arthur Mutambara, could collapse.

    The agreement stalled after the parties failed to agree on the allocation of the most powerful ministries, especially the Home Affairs portfolio that oversees the police.

    An emergency summit of the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) called to break the deadlock over ministerial posts resolved that a unity government be formed "forthwith" and that the Home Affairs ministry be co-managed by Zanu-PF and the Tsvangirai-led MDC.

    The MDC has rejected the proposal.

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