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  • The constitution and the struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe
    Youth Forum
    May 06, 2010

    Recent pronouncements by various representatives of the three parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) acknowledging the serious hurdles facing the constitutional reform process have worked to pay credence to those who have earlier declared that politicians cannot be trusted to lead an important process such as the constitutional reform process.

    It is worrying that once again Zanu PF and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are sacrificing the will of the people of Zimbabwe as they jostle for political control in the power games that have assumed the name of the inclusive government. While a lot of people had pinned their hopes in the capacity of the inclusive government to spearhead the constitution making process, it is becoming apparent by the day that all this may come to naught. The police have weighed in with their outrageous demand of three million (United States) dollars for them to cover the outreach teams during the consultation phase. It is apparent that is another spanner being thrown into the process by self confessed Zanu PF supporter and sympathizer Augustine Chihuri. Obviously there are police stations and posts close to where each and every one of the outreach meetings will be held and the police details there can be able to cover the outreach meetings in the same manner that they do to ordinary meetings in their areas.

    What Zimbabweans should discern from all these events is that as much as the politicians may go around saying that they derive their mandate from the electorate, not the entire inclusive government is there to serve the interests of the electorate. For starters, we all know that even some high-ranking officials in this government were not even voted for by the people. In fact, some of them were rejected at the last polls by the people of Zimbabwe. We all know that there are many in government who are afraid of the real implications of having a new, democratic and people-driven constitution for the country. For some it will definitely mean a limit to the number of presidential terms. There are also those who have capitalized on the partisanship of the security forces who are afraid that they may no longer be able to abuse the police, army, intelligence officers and prison officials to stay in power if a democratic constitution takes root.

    As the Youth Forum we once again take this opportunity to call upon the three principals in government to put aside petty political differences for the sake of the people. Obviously if they cannot make sacrifices for the people then none of them should expect the people to side with them come the next election, whenever that will be. If the principals cannot guarantee the nation that it will have a new, democratic and people-driven constitution, then they should not be talking about holding fresh elections as we are all well aware of the electoral route we have travelled under the current constitution and no-one in their right senses is prepared for a repeat of the 2008 elections. If the inclusive government cannot spearhead the authoring of a new constitution, it is only prudent for them to acknowledge so and leave the task to other people who have the people of Zimbabwe at heart and can accomplish this job.

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