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This article participates on the following special index pages:
New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
on the path of a genuine people driven constitution
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
wishes to re-affirm the position of the National Constitutional
Assembly (NCA) vis-à-vis the current attempts by the government
of Zimbabwe to impose a constitution on the people. The NCA rejects
the current Parliament-driven process.
The NCA has
both individual and institutional members. Unlike individual members,
institutional members are not automatically bound by every decision
taken by the NCA. Some decisions require ratification by the institutional
members concerned. This brings us to the principled position taken
by the two biggest institutional members of the NCA: the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the Zimbabwe
National Students Union (ZINASU). The NCA wishes to commend
the ZCTU and ZINASU for this adherence to the founding principles
of the NCA, namely that a constitution is by, and for, the people.
A parliament-driven process offends this principle. Their outright
rejection of the current Parliament-driven process sets an appropriate
example to the broader NCA membership and the public.
While it is
not our intention to dwell on the obvious defects of the current
process, events of the last few weeks, including the calamitous
episodes at the Rainbow Towers on 13 and 14 July 2009, demonstrates
that the current Parliament-led process is neither people-driven
nor legitimate. It also lacks seriousness. For example:
- The Government
Press has circulated the so-called Kariba
Draft. No other Draft has been circulated. President Mugabe
has been unequivocal in narrowing the current process to the Kariba
Draft. Protestations to the contrary by the other key players
have been vague, inconsistent and unconvincing.
- The Parliament
Select Committee is a laughable outfit. It has told no single
truth and enjoys being a front for its principals while treating
ordinary people as irrelevant.
- Every step
in the Parliament-led process has been taken over by party politics.
Dates of meetings have fallen victim to political party considerations.
Participants for meetings are selected along political party lines.
Political parties dictate consultations at meetings.
- The Rainbow
Towers gathering of 13 and 14 July 2009 cannot, by any stretch
of imagination, be described as an "All Stakeholders Conference".
It took the organizers one and half days to open the meeting.
When if finally opened it lasted for less than four hours. It
started in order to end. It had a different agenda from that specified
in the GPA. The meeting made no single discussion. The allocation
of sizes of delegations was arbitrary and ridiculous. Non-existent
organizations were allocated more participants than existing organizations.
have solidified the NCA's conviction that this process is
designed to serve the interests of political parties involved and
has no chance of producing a democratic and people-driven constitution.
Given the NCA's
mandate, it is inevitable that the public expects it to continue
to hold the light that leads to a new, democratic and people-driven
constitution. In 1999, when the government of the day instituted
a defective constitution-making process, the NCA convened the 1st
Peoples' Constitutional Convention in June of that year. That
Convention provided a platform for Zimbabweans who were genuinely
committed to a people-driven constitution, to map an appropriate
response to a defective government process. The strategies formulated
at that Convention guided the NCA in stopping the imposition of
the 2000 Draft.
We hereby announce
that the NCA, with the special support of the ZCTU and ZINASU, will
convene the 2nd Peoples' constitutional Convention on Monday
27 July 2009. It will be held as a follow-up to the 1st Peoples'
Convention of June 1999. The specific objective of this Convention
is to adopt positions and programmes of action in the light of current
attempts by politicians to undermine our struggle for a genuine
It will be a
one-day Convention of 3500 delegates. This is a Convention of like-minded
Zimbabweans with the following deep convictions:
- That the
constitution making process must not be led by politicians.
- That a democratic
and sustainable constitution can only come from a genuine people-driven
process and not from a fraudulent Parliament-driven process.
- That Zimbabwe
cannot afford a constitution designed solely to accommodate the
interests of current political leaders.
- That we
have suffered enough by "worshipping" popular politicians
of the day.
- That the
current Parliament-driven process is unacceptable.
Our agenda is to get a genuine process that will give our country
a democratic constitution. At the Convention, we will launch our
campaign under the banner of TAKE CHARGE and thereafter take it
to all people in the country.
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