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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Constitutional outreach programme
    Union for Sustainable Democracy
    September 08, 2010

    The Union for Sustainable Democracy urges Zimbabweans from all walks of life, but especially the parties to the inclusive government, to remain strongly committed to the current constitutional outreach programme. There is no questioning the fact that the usual suspects have thrown all sorts of obstacles in the way and consequently it has become such a frustrating exercise. However, it was never going to be a stroll in the park and so cool heads must prevail.

    As our tours around the country have clearly shown there is considerable apathy towards the outreach programme because of a general weariness of the political process among Zimbabweans. Logistical difficulties have made an already bad situation worse. Add to that the fact that COPAC now needs more money to fund the process.

    The United States government has tentatively offered its support and, on behalf of the people Zimbabwe, USD extends its warmest gratitude to the United States government for its unwavering commitment to assisting the people of Zimbabwe in shaping the future of their country. This is despite all the tirade of ignominy heaped on Washington by Harare in recent years.

    Meanwhile, we encourage every Zimbabwean to do everything in their power to help salvage this fundamental step towards the democratisation of our country. Even the present disruptors of the process can make a positive contribution by renouncing their un-Zimbabwean practice of causing devastating mayhem and instead promoting tolerance, peace and good governance - for these are the attributes of a true Zimbabwean.

    Threats from Prime Minister Tsvangirai's MDC and Madhuku's NCA that they will soon be campaigning for a 'NO' vote are counter-productive in the extreme.

    We strongly discourage the politics of expediency and relevance-seeking in this country. While it is fact that the prevailing circumstances are not conducive to the production of a credible and people-driven constitution, we wish to ask the question: What have the MDC, Madhuku or anyone for that matter done to ensure the constitutional outreach programme is run efficiently and free of interference, intimidation and violence? The answer is a resounding and factual NOTHING!

    Zimbabwe needs leaders who will forego cheap political point-scoring aimed at maintaining the high ground in favour of seizing this critical moment in our country's history.

    The constitutional outreach programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity- an opportunity that must not be forfeited due to the inaction of our leaders, including Prime Minister Tsvangirai, and their failure to prevent violence and intimidation.

    Already tens of millions of dollars have been spent on the process. More millions will be spent. But an even greater cost to the people of Zimbabwe will be that a 'NO' vote will surely allow ZANU PF to have its way yet again. So much for good leadership!

    Good leaders actually do something when they learn of disturbances and talking from the comfort of one's cosy chair at Harvest House, Munhumutapa or in some office somewhere (wherever the NCA is housed) is not good enough. In the prevailing circumstances, USD calls on the so-called good leaders to show wise leadership by ignoring the limitations of the process itself and concentrating more on the substance of the new constitution. The fact is that, however flawed the process may have been, it is likely to result in the production of a document more akin to a constitution that what we presently have and that should count for something. Stop the 'NO' vote nonsense now!

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