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Monitoring Trust (Zimbabwe)
Janaury 11, 2013
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Draft - Yes or No?
Those of us
who have been in civic society for some time will remember the popular
2000 referendum. If my memory serves me well, the crux of the matter
then was whether the process leading to the draft
was ‘people-driven’ or not. It was the process argument
and not the content that ruled the day and the consequences of such
an approach are with us today. It is interesting to note that the
MDC then in opposition led the charge against the draft on the basis
that it did not reflect the views of the people as the composition
of the constitutional commission was biased against civic participation.
Whether this allegation holds water or not is an argument for another
day. Suffice to say that the argument then was that we wanted a
people driven process. Come 2012 and a new referendum is upon us.
The battle lines have been dawn with the MDCs calling for a ‘Yes’
vote to the Copac draft whilst Zanu PF has come up with a raft of
proposed amendments to the draft. The question now is, is it about
the process as in 2000, the content or both? It is important at
this stage to make the following observations; there is a marked
shift of positions. Whereas in 2000 the catchword was ‘people-driven’
at present it is ‘international best practices’. It
appears there is now a new view that the people’s input is
immaterial for as long as our constitution conforms to what we are
now told are ‘international best practices’. It appears
theses practices have been elevated to overshadow the people’s
view as captured in the outreach programme . Now we are being asked
to vote either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. The question
is not ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but yes or no to what?
The yardstick for the endorsement or otherwise of the draft should
be whether it reflects the views of the people as captured in the
outreach programme or not. Period. (Mandla is a political activist
based in Tsholotsho)
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