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This article participates on the following special index pages:
New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
politically driven and politicians-centered constitution making
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
The National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) is shocked that some people are shocked by the predictable
events that took place at the Harare International Conference Centre
where the three political parties together with a handful of NGO
people converged to start the process of writing a "people
The NCA has
remained steady fast on the need for a genuinely people driven constitution
making process since its formation in 1997. With the signing of
Political Agreement the NCA immediately articulated the shortfalls
of the process spelt out therein. As all Zimbabweans might be aware
by now that those in the NCA have made their position clear that
they will not be a part of the sham process in article 6 of the
So we are appalled by
the unrelenting effort from the proponents and drivers of this process
to have the NCA participate in a process we have long said we can
not trust. For the record the NCA believes that the process which
politicians are insisting on is fundamentally flawed and thus we
have taken a principled stance to distance away ourselves from this
charade of a process.
The happenings at the
HICC confirm our long held principle that a constitution making
process must not be subjected to the whims and tactics of politicians.
It is our belief that any genuine process must place everyone at
the same level. What we saw at the HICC is that the process is a
political process nicodemously seeking legitimacy from civic society.
Civic players who attended the event were reduced to spectators
as politicians took charge.
The behaviour displayed
yesterday is not shocking in political process especially given
the ZANU-PF history. We are in no doubt that if this process continues
as it is ZANU-PF will have its way and the people will be losers.
The face saving press brief at the State House by the principals
to the GPA must not fool us. The process is as important as the
contents. Politicians must not drive this process or the people
will continue to be spectators as politicians play games with the
future of the country
We believe that a constitution
making process must not be led by the government of the day or the
political parties who dominate the government of the day. The process
must be led by an independent body which is constituted by various
stakeholders but that body must not just be independent, it must
also be seen to be independent. And one way of ensuring that there
is an independent process is to get a commission, normally chaired
by a judge or a former judge or some other independent person.
This current process
was brought to the country by the political parties who were negotiating
the so-called Global Political Agreement. That is a clear indication
that it is a political party-led process of making a new constitution
for the country. Even if it then involves people being invited by
the political parties to join it, it doesn't change the fact
that it is led by politicians with political ambitions of capturing
or retaining state power. In short Zimbabwe needs a fresh start.
The constitution must be written by the people.
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