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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Madhuku to step down
Manyukwe, The Financial Gazette
August 29, 2013
is set to step down next month from the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) amid indications that he might
launch a new political party to challenge President Robert Mugabe’s
hegemony at the next elections in 2018, The Financial Gazette can
been the chairperson of the NCA since 2001 when he took over from
Morgan Tsvangirai who, two years earlier, had ventured into mainstream
politics through the then united Movement for Democratic Change
Since its formation,
the NCA has been lobbying for a new constitution
The NCA significantly differed with its former alliance partners
during the constitution-making
process that birthed a new charter in June this year to replace
the colonial Lancaster House constitution, negotiated in London
Zimbabwe now has a new charter, the NCA still argues that the supreme
law was authored by politicians hence there was still need for the
country to craft a people-driven constitution hence it has continued
to be relevant. The differences over the approaches used in drafting
the new Constitution, style and its content became the genesis of
the fallout between the MDC-T, led by outgoing Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and Madhuku, the NCA chairperson.
the NCA linked Madhuku to the formation of a new political party
following the poor showing by Zanu-PF’s rivals in the July
31 polls and the fallout between the assembly and the MDC-T.
a major comeback from its loss of Parliamentary control during the
general polls to garner more than two thirds of the seats in
the legislative assembly in the just-ended elections.
Mugabe got 61 percent of the vote to avoid a presidential election
run-off as was the case five years ago. His archrival, Tsvangirai
33 percent of the vote but insists that the poll was rigged.
enter the political fray, he will need to fight hard for recognition
as the leading opposition figure in local politics with his former
ally, Tsvangirai, who has been in the trenches, trying to dethrone
President Mugabe since 1999.
the NCA’s director for information and publicity, confirmed
this week that his boss would be stepping down from the chairmanship
of the assembly at a congress scheduled for next month.
of the NCA is very clear on what is to be done by congress, and
leadership renewal is one of those issues. The matter will be discussed
and congress delegates would be allowed to elect a new leadership.
He (Madhuku) is not seeking another mandate, this congress is essentially
about addressing that issue, which has been long overdue,”
not seeking another mandate. He has done his part and it’s
time for him to focus on other things; we appreciate the role he
has played in the fight for a democratic constitution for our country.”
Madhuku, a constitutional
law expert who lectures at the University
of Zimbabwe, is seen joining hands with MDC99 leader Job Sikhala
and leading academics both at home and abroad as well as civic society
to form a political party that would fight for opposition space
with the MDC-T ahead of the 2018 polls.
Since the 1990s,
Tsvangirai and Madhuku were bosom buddies. In 2007, they shared
the same hospital ward after being assaulted by the police.
It was this
incident that saw then South African president Thabo Mbeki intensifying
talks between the MDC-T and Zanu-PF to calm the situation in Zimbabwe
which could have gotten out of hand.
relationship with Madhuku showed signs of strain since he entered
government in February 2009.
This year, the
constitutional law expert became more inclined to Zanu-PF’s
views, resulting in observers speculating that he had “sold
At the height
of disputes over the crafting of the new Constitution, he torched
a storm when he suggested that President Mugabe would be justified
to call for fresh polls under the Lancaster House constitution.
And in the run
up to the polls, he echoed President Mugabe’s sentiments that
foreign firms were seeking to re-colonise the country while blasting
Tsvangirai, his erstwhile ally, as “narrow-minded.”
This week, political
analyst Ricky Mukonza, said should Madhuku and others form a political
party, its impact was likely to be felt more in 2023 rather than
human being like many of us I do have great respect for Professor
Madhuku without being blind to his faults as a leader. The problem
that Zimbabwean politics has had in the past decade or so is that
they are binary - you are either Zanu or MDC, and that problem still
persists going into 2018. Given that background, chances of Madhuku
and others’ party making it in 2018 are slim,” said
participation in 2018 will give them an opportunity to establish
themselves for future endeavors. 2023 and 2028 would be realistic
for them to make a strong impact. My prediction of future politics
in Zimbabwe is that they will be politics of coalitions. Beyond
2018, MDC-T and Zanu-PF will not be as strong as they are, also
people will be more open minded thus making choices based on issues
and ideas. For now, voting for anyone other than (President) Mugabe
or Tsvangirai is viewed as wasting votes no matter how sensible
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