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years after colonial rule, the NCA ready to complete the change
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
31 Years after
colonial rule , the NCA is ready to complete both the unfinished
business of the liberation struggle and of the post - 2000 democratic
struggle. It's almost fourteen years after the formation of
the people's constitutional movement-the NCA in 1997, almost 12
years after the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) in 1999 by ordinary Zimbabweans, workers, students, the jobless,
academics-Zimbabweans who believed that Zimbabwe's independence
can be a much more tangible reality.
Yes, over a
decade of an intense struggle for the further democratization of
our country. Zimbabwe also finds itself under an inclusive government,
a negotiated government in this year of our Lord 2011, 31 years
after colonial rule. Yet today we sit and reflect as Zimbabwe on
the gains of the liberation and celebrate the historic achievements
of freedom from colonial rule.
The NCA today
pays tribute to the gallant sons and daughters of this great country
who fought fearlessly for the independence of this country. It is
in the same spirit that we register our deep concerns over the way
the ZANU-PF government has destroyed the national fabric of this
As we celebrate
these thirty one years of self rule we are disappointed that today
the culture of ZANU-PF has become so endemic in our society. It
is ironic that the state apparatus that are meant to protect the
people of Zimbabwe and foster an environment of peace (the army
and the police) have become the chief perpetrators of violence and
chief violators of human rights. We deplore in the strongest terms
the abuse of state machinery by ZANU-PF for political gains.
The NCA struggle
for a new constitution is rooted in the principles of the liberation
struggle. Now, 31 years after independence ZANU PF want us to believe
that the liberation struggle was just about economic independence
and material needs. Yes it was, but that is selective articulation
of the liberation struggle. Like what the NCA advocates for today,
the war was about ordinary people's participation in political
processes e.g One Man One Vote, it was about freedom of assembly,
association and expression . On this the NCA is determined to complete
the and fulfil the principles of the liberation struggle war, that
is economic and democratic rights.
The NCA is also
concerned with what we have witnessed in the people's alternative
to ZANU-PF the MDC-T. The kind of violence we are witnessing in
the on-going provincial congresses is an aberration to democratic
year 2010, 30 years after independence was a tough year for the
National Constitutional Assembly. It was a year as many of you will
remember that we saw many foolishly believing that the constitutional
movement's organization was due to the presence of donor funds.
I was humbled by the conviction of ordinary man and women who believed
at that crucial moment that the future of their country and lives
were not tied and would never be tied to those that have money.
A conviction that the democratization of this great country was
a deep rooted belief that we will undertake with or without friends
until we succeed. Based on this conviction we had one of our successful
years- we built serious momentum for the Take Charge Campaign and
we launched in two phases (Harare and Johannesburg) the Act Now
against political Violence targeting Women.
There has been
talk and speculation about election and it is sad that in a nation
thirty one years after independence decisions to hold an important
national event as an election becomes a preserve of a few. As it
stands it appears no-one knows when an election will happen except
Mugabe. The donor funds obsessed COPAC now says the Constitutional
Referendum will happen in September if donors give them money. Now
2011 is with us, thirty one years after independence - what is it
that we must do?
The NCA as you
saw towards the end of 2010 was serious on taking the people back
to the centre of the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis. This year
we are intensifying our village, township and farm meetings. We
were, as we are today, fully committed to the same National Working
Peoples Convention and its commitment to democracy as well as social
and economic justice. In the eleven or so years since the NWPC and
the formation of the MDC, we have also steadfastly maintained that
true democratic change can only be arrived at via a people driven
constitution making process and this is reaffirmed in the Zimbabwe's
This is why
we rejected unapologetically the inclusive government's constitutional
reform process as led by the Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC)
in terms of Article 6 of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA).This is why the NCA in at this point
of celebrating 31 years of independence will focus on two major
campaigns outside our civic education namely the Take Charge campaign
dedicated to campaigning for a 'NO' vote in the pending
constitutional referendum and the Act Now against Political Violence
Campaign which seeks to build capacity in communities to take a
stance against political violence. In campaigning for a NO VOTE
in the referendum the NCA is just re-affirming that Zimbabwe needs
a home grown, people driven and democratic constitution. This is
vote does not mean that people want to be governed by the current
Lancaster House Constitution.
It does not mean that we want future elections to be held under
the current Lancaster Home Constitution. It simply means that we
want a good constitution and we are rejecting a bad one.
the Kariba and COPAC process, we are not opposing this moral demand.
We are fulfilling it. Our argument is that the mistakes of 1979
cannot be repeated. And neither should we settle principle in the
toilet for expediency. Constitution making is in itself a continuation
of a political struggle for democracy. It the fight for a democratic
constitution, we are qualifying the dream of a Zimbabwe we want.
process is just but a distraction that will result in regret for
the democracy movement if allowed: it is robbing the nation an opportunity
for genuine dialogue and debate, and robbing citizens an opportunity
to build a society in which the disasters of the past cannot repeat
themselves. And in this together with our partners the ZCTU
we will be victorious. Once it is achieved, we will once again take
up the task of ensuring a people driven constitution. Simultaneously
we will call the inclusive government to account on its actions
and we will reject any calls for an election within such a repressive
The NCA will
also with the same zest focus on its campaign working with women's
groups in Zimbabwe and outside the country build its campaign against
political violence especially that which targets women.
the ZCTU, ZINASU, the Women's
Coalition in Zimbabwe, RAU,
POWA, CDP. Khulumani, Afrika Contact and many other friends in the
region and beyond we will raise the voice of women in activism and
against political violence. we will demand accountability from the
politicians of the day and demand an end to a culture of political
violence. We will under that campaign build response mechanism and
preventive mechanisms in communities to this barbaric scourge that
politicians especially ZANU PF have been thriving on.
chairpersons and a few) have sort to argue that we are taking the
wrong path. We are persuaded that contrary to these assertions we
are on the revolutionary path. We believe it is now time we reclaim
the country from the peddlers of false hope and distributors of
patronage via the state, international donors and state/party embedded
corporate businesses. We too are believers in our country and its
people beyond the narrow confines of political partisanship as has
been sadly demonstrated by the inclusive government. We are committed
to the betterment of the lives of all Zimbabweans and we ask you
all to join us, to join the new phase of the struggle for freedom
in Zimbabwe, the struggle of the many against the few, the struggle
against hunger, deprivation, oppression and elitist politics; the
struggle for the full realization of the ideals of an independent,
democratic and people centred Zimbabwe. A Zimbabwe where education
is free and accessible to all and a good health delivery system.
This goal is
not only confined to democratizing the political landscape. It is
fool hardy to imagine a democratic political system without a democratic
economic and social order. To achieve these, public power must be
constrained as much as possible on all spheres. It is essentially
because of this that we cannot, and will not allow the charade of
a process that is already dead to be used to push a draft written
in a boat by three lawyers representing their masters (which is
why you see the draft that will come out of COPAC will give Mugabe
a fresh two year term).
This we cannot
allow and we are convinced politicians will realise that Zimbabweans
are clear on what they want and the Zimbabwe they want to build.
We cannot have the process be driven by those whose power society
seeks to limit! It has to be an independent commission - independent
from this over-arching hand of politicians! I want to urge you all
to be resolute and steady fast in this front line walk of advancement
towards egalitarianism. Let us join hands, take charge and complete
this change which is imminent. I shall be one in spirit and love,
in loyalty and commitment with you all.
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