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elections without a new constitution
Matsilele, African Path
May 21, 2007
As the mediation
formalities proceed the word of caution from the National
Constitution Assembly continues to get louder eventually this
will make the opposition MDC and the ruling ZANU PF find it impossible
to ignore that constitutional issue is fundamental in restoring
democracy in Zimbabwe.
democratic constitution must remain an un-negotiable precondition",
reads part of the recommendations submitted to those in mediation
efforts as a way of finding a lasting solution to the economic and
political impasse crippling Zimbabwe. The recommendations were submitted
by the National Constitution Assembly.
For sure any legitimate
leader who believes in his electorate can never deny something democratic
which himself will eventually benefit from. President Mugabe knows
he has a huge following so nothing can or should stop him from according
the rest of Zimbabweans their democratic right they are fighting
for. This is the right to a democratic people driven constitution.
Zimbabwe Coalition addressing a rally demonstrating in Johannesburg
in solidarity with Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions asked President
Thabo Mbeki at Buenos Naude square to bring the constitutional issue
to the attention of President Mugabe. Zimunya warned that if ZANU
PF went ahead with elections without a new constitution it would
be an election of Robert Mugabe against Robert Mugabe and the winner
eventually being Robert Mugabe
In the first
Zimbabwe campaign meeting held in Johannesburg, a couple of
months ago, addressing the meeting, NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku
made it clear that under the present situation the MDC would not
win any election with a considerable margin as instruments at play
now promotes ZANU PF.
Constitution at the present moment avails executive powers to
a single individual which makes it impossible for other competitors
to wage a meaningful battle as he becomes both the player and the
referee. The draft constitution proposed by the NCA called for an
impartial and Independent Electoral Commission which no person can
or would interfere with.
The draft proposal also
suggested that the Parliamentary Public Appointments Committee to
be set up would make nominees for those to be involved in the electoral
commission which the president would pick from but at the current
situation the president chooses to his liking without any recommendations
and those who comprise it are strong ZANU PF members.
As much as the opposition
is desperate to be in power it must not forget that it has contested
all elections since its formation in 1999 and has lost all (ZANU
PF won with two thirds majority in all elections) and as long it
goes for another election without a democratic constitution it will
encounter defeat which will eventually derail its constituency.
In the past the opposition
has been warned by the NCA for a need to have a democratic constitution
to ensure free and fair elections but it has not hearkened to the
call partly because of its desperation to be in power. Currently
the MDC factions vowed never to go for the Zaka by-elections as
the parliament will be dissolved in December and its new approach
of no elections without a new constitution.
The question still ringing
in the minds of many is will the MDC also boycott next year elections?
Zaka is a stronghold of ZANU PF would the MDC have done the same
had it been Kuwadzana, Budiriro or Highfields? The MDC should grow
in politics and start being realistic, as long as the constitution
operating today is not changed or amended Mugabe can win a thousand
Abednico Bhebhe from
MDC led by Professor Arthur Mutambara and Roy Bennet from Morgan
Tsvangirai affirmed they would not go for any elections as past
mistakes had taught them that Mugabe would not lose in any elections
as he enjoyed leverage accorded by the present constitution. Responding
to the promise Dr Madhuku acknowledged the pledge and said this
time he trusted the MDC would boycott elections as going for elections
would be a way of legitimizing elections that are already rigged.
Now the BIG question
is will Mugabe offer Zimbabweans another chance to participate in
a referendum for a constitution, does he have the finances to run
that referendum, is the MDC prepared to linger to the end of 2008
in an event Mugabe uses time as an excuse? Then if he denies the
issue of constitution altogether will the MDC boycott elections?
Are MDC's urban legislatures prepared to boycott even their lavish
life, including their twin cabs for the sake of restoration of democracy?
Tsvangirai is not going for an election so is Mutambara only time
will tell who the traitor is the one who is going to call for MDC's
involvement in an election before sanity returns in the operating
One thing that must be
clear to both the MDC and ZANU PF is that a people driven constitution
is there to benefit all Zimbabweans irregardless of political affiliation.
NCA chairman has in the
past cleared the air after being linked with the MDC that the NCA
was not there to remove Mugabe and that it would be to the best
interest of the NCA even for Mr Mugabe to win in a democratic institution
which is not there now.
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