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NCA congress: Defining the future
September 24, 2013
On the 28th
of September the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) will be convening its historic
congress at its headquarters, Bumbiro House in Harare. The congress
meets after the last General Assembly then in 2006, and presented
an opportune moment for the movement to reflect on its failures
and successes since its formation in 1997. Our fight over the years
has been the fight for a people driven constitution. Mindful of
the founding vision of the NCA of ‘a peaceful, prosperous,
democratic and united country founded on human dignity and social
justice’ and mission ‘for Zimbabwe to have a new, democratic
and people driven constitution,’ the NCA have never lost sight
of what it’s seek to achieve despite the obstacles that it
has encountered over the years. In 2000 it successfully blocked
Mugabe’s sponsored constitution, mobilising Zimbabweans from
the length and breadth of our country to
vote NO in the referendum held in February the same year.
was as a result of the historical processes, the National Working
People’s Convention (1999), which clearly espoused that the
writing of a new constitution should not be led by individual or
political parties. The same resolution was also articulated by the
Zimbabwe Peoples Charter
(2008), giving NCA solid reasons and justification to reject Article
Six of the Global
Political Agreement, (GPA). In all these events the NCA agreed
that the writing of a new constitution be open, owned and driven
by the people of Zimbabwe. The NCA had seen the shortcomings of
entrusting those in political offices to write a constitution for
the whole nation, thus rejecting Article 6 of the Global Political
To NCA, Article
6 fell short of what we in the organisation believe in; it relegated
the people of Zimbabwe to be mere spectators in the writing of their
own constitution. How retrogressive were our former friends, the
2 MDCs, whose founding nucleus was the National Working People’s
Convention, have also reneged from that principle. They threw away
the NWPC agreement the moment they joined Mugabe’s bandwagon.
Selling principle on the altar of political convenience: revolutionary
movements do not renege from principle. It is these historical documents
and events, the NWPC resolutions and the Zimbabwe Peoples Charter
that NCA will continue using as tools of analysis for complicated
day to day social, economic and political matters.
background, the NCA remained principled despite the foolish, childish
and rather false claims that the NCA existed to siphon donor resources
for survival. It is no secret that when COPAC was established the
NCA refused to be part of that charade and some donors tried to
manipulate the NCA to be part of that bandwagon. A notion we totally
It is during
that time that some donors from the western world dumped the NCA
for its refusal to support the inclusive government constitution
making process. Over the years we have learnt a big lesson that
for any struggle to succeed it has to be a principled struggle and
that the issues of money must never compromise on the goals and
objectives to be achieved. Proudly, our movement has grown from
strength and the dedication by the membership must be saluted. They
have stood the test, contributing the little from their hard-earned
cash to fund the organisation. Such dedication and commitment is
motivated by the desire for a prosperous and democratic country.
For that reason, prophets of doom who wished the collapse of the
NCA were totally shamed. Therefore, as we define a new path on the
28th of September, It is that steadfastness, commitment and principle
that will enable any movement to live long.
of the land today have dramatically changed and as such we have
to re-organise ourselves in this new terrain. Our struggle for a
people driven constitution will forever be at the forefront until
victory is achieved. Thus this congress is about setting the foundation
for the future for our beloved country.
will set an agenda and program for the democratic revolution. It
is a stepping stone towards a society, a political culture that
accommodates debate, disagreements and differing opinions without
labelling of comrades as sell-out, lost, traitors or counter-revolutionary.
As a revolutionary
movement, the NCA have learnt especially at a time when donors dumped
it that a movement can be sustained by its membership. This could
not have been achieved if it did not have committed cadre within
its ranks. This is why the membership coming to this historic congress
has taken it upon itself to fund for own transport and accommodation.
Such levels of sacrifice are indeed a reason to celebrate. As we
continue recruiting, our membership must be disciplined and commit
voluntarily for the good of the movement. Those obsessed with material
or personal gains have no place in our ranks.
National Congress affords us the opportunity to account for our
stewardship over the past period and at the same time devise strategies
and map out plans for a bolder and better future.
Thus, the demand
for visionary leadership has never been so compelling. On the same
vein and as an organisation, we revile in strongest terms the continued
disparaging slander by some self-imposed political commentators
and analysts on casting aspersions on the integrity of the NCA and
challenge going forward is to ensure that we remain true in our
course in building unity and cohesion in our movement. If we look
back at the road we have traversed in the last years, so can we
be confident that as the revolutionary organisation we have stood
the test of time and emerged unscathed by the challenges that came
before us in our persistent struggle for a democratic constitution
that will also seek to improve material conditions of the people
and making our people to live their own lives for the better.
for unity and cohesion remains unshaken; our mission to champion
a new democratic dispensation remains untiring. We therefore wish
our delegates fruitful deliberations on the day of congress.
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