Back to Index, Back to Special Index
This article participates on the following special index pages:
New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
making awareness focusing on unimportant issues
May 05, 2010
Zimbabwe is being administered
by an undemocratically elected government largely because of some
constitutional challenges that have made elections worthless. Of
course, we already know the election 'winner- if elections
are held under the present constitution. Thus the current constitutional
making process was mainly conceived to allow for free and fair elections
so Zimbabweans would be governed by leaders of their choice.
Despite a lot
of resources being channelled towards new constitution making, it
is unfortunate that two relatively trivial issues, homosexuality
and gender, which can-t retrieve us from our leadership and
governance crisis, have dominated the constitutional awareness campaigns.
Although most claim homosexuality
is alien to Africa, there is evidence it was practiced in Buganda
(now Uganda) in the 19th century particularly by Kabaka Mwanga who
assumed kingship (or Kabakaship) at the age of eighteen in 1884.
This is no justification for legalising homosexuality in the new
constitution because who should care what people do behind closed
doors? By and large, homosexuality is a bedroom issue, which does
not influence the leadership and governance in this country.
can also be raised on gender, which is repossessing the fame it
had soon after its invention, although gender sensitive legislation
such as the Domestic
Violence Act have been passed. Perhaps gender activists are
justified to complain about gender legislative implementation and
of course, more and more women opportunities, regardless of competence.
But constitutional advocacy for women-s rights have been used
to shroud discussions on the main issues as if the new constitution
is largely intended to address gender imbalances.
Among others, the current
constitution gives the Executive too much power. This has stifled
democracy, good governance and the rule of law. The President-s
power to appoint the Attorney General and the Chief Justice, for
example, has compromised the judiciary-s independence and
consequently, election processes and outcomes.
The release of the March
2008 election results, for instance, were unlawfully and deliberately
delayed. Court appeals by the opposition were ignored. Political
activists have been incarcerated and arbitrarily arrested whilst
some have been tortured or murdered by known people who have never
been prosecuted because the judiciary has not yet been given the
instruction by its proprietor.
would expect discussions on the Access
to Information and Privacy Act (AIPPA) to top the constitutional
discussion agenda ahead of gender or homosexuality. The electronic
media has been a monopoly of the ruling party, and has enabled it
to spread its election propaganda at the expense of other political
parties. Its polarization and the extent to which its owners dislike
a new constitution have been shown by the absence of constitutional
awareness information on both radio and television. If 'station
identification songs- were composed for Fast Track Land Reform
Programme and bearer cheques awareness raising, why can-t
the same be done for the new constitution?
is augmented by the Public
Order and Security Act (POSA), which has seen major election
meetings of the opposition being indefinitely postponed or called
off. Historically, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been
fearless to take up such 'sensitive- issues. Unfortunately
they are receiving binding instructions from the state controlled
community entry points. Permission into communities for constitutional
discussions is given on condition NGOs and communities do not talk
about anything concerning the Executive-s dictatorial powers,
President-s term of office; the Kariba
Draft, AIPPA, and POSA. Possibly, this is why some have turned
to 'soft- issues such as gender and homosexuality.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.