THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index, Back to Special Index

This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • NCA urges donors to stop funding Zim reforms
    Sebastian Nyamhangambiri, ZimOnline
    January 29, 2010

    Zimbabwe's largest political pressure group, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), on Thursday called on international donors to stop supporting the country's constitutional reform process, saying it was a "circus and undemocratic".

    The NCA said it would work with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) - also opposed to the unity government of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai leading the constitutional reform process - to stop the West from funding the project.

    "We'll be pushing to stop this process. It is wasting our time as a country," NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku - flanked by ZCTU's Lovemore Matombo and Clever Bere, who leads a faction of ZINASU - told journalists in Harare.

    "It is wasting the taxpayers' money in Europe and the Americans who are funding it. For the first time Zimbabweans are going to fight to protect Western taxpayers' money that is being thrown out here," he added.

    Madhuku said the money, which the West was injecting into the government-led constitutional reform process, must be channelled to revive collapsed social sectors such as education and health.

    "You (West) have lots and lots of money to throw at nothing but this country needs hospitals, good schools and so forth," he said. "Soon we will be engaging those people who have so much money to interfere in the country through this way. We cannot watch this circus. They (Harare) are siphoning money from the West. It is very naive to keep giving them money."

    The NCA leader said government's Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) spearheading the constitutional reforms had demonstrated that it had no capacity to draft a new constitution since the process was way out of schedule.

    "There is no constitutional reform taking place in the country at the moment. According to its (COPAC) own plan, a complete so-called outreach process should have ended in November last year, by next month a second stakeholder conference, and a referendum in July. But as we speak there is no conception of what is really happening," said Madhuku.

    "Everyone has been left to guess work. The process is now being led by ZANU PF, with (Vice President) Joice Mujuru being the chief campaigner of the outreach process. There will be a rejection of the draft constitution. In the next few weeks, we are going to fight against this in the streets. This is our country. We'll be pushing to stop this process," he said.

    Addressing the same press briefing ZCTU leader Matombo said the process needed to be run by people who are independent of the government, saying the COPAC process had "no right formula".

    COPAC, which is made up of representatives of the three political parties in the country's coalition government has missed several deadlines due to financial problems and squabbling between the coalition partners.

    However COPAC co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora from Tsvangirai's party dismissed said the NCA, ZCTU and ZINASU had no basis to criticise the government led reforms.

    "We invited everyone to come on board, including the civic organisations and some came and we are moving. Nothing will stop the train; we are not going to worry about barking which might happen to the train which has already gathered momentum," said Mwonzora.

    The NCA - a coalition of several civic society groups and smaller opposition political parties - and its labour and student partners have been traditional allies of both Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara's MDC parties.

    But a potentially costly rift has emerged between the allies after the former opposition MDC parties agreed with Mugabe's ZANU PF party to put Parliament in charge of drafting a new constitution for Zimbabwe.

    The NCA, ZCTU, ZINASU and the MDC - then a single party led by Tsvangirai - successfully mobilised Zimbabweans to reject a government-sponsored draft constitution in 2000.

    The divisions in the alliance could weaken the MDC's capacity to wring concessions from Mugabe and ZANU PF during the writing of the new constitution.

    A group of donors - Australia, Canada, Denmark, EU-delegation, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States - and the United Nations Development Programme are some of the countries and organisations that are sponsoring Zimbabwe's constitutional reform process which needs at least US$43 million to be completed.

    Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.