GPA principals are not Zimbabwe

Posted: February 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

The elitist constitutional breakthrough is far from answers to solve Zimbabwe’s problems.

While I appreciate the said constitutional breakthrough by the Global Political Agreement principals, I have reservations that the move was elitist. Zimbabweans spent more than three years collecting important information about how they wish to be governed and their wishes were expected to be put in a referendum without alterations. According to the MDCs earlier statements, there were not supposed to be any negotiations about altering the draft constitution. To my surprise, the very MDCs that many support have come out in support of an altered document, calling the move a major success in history. I may agree that there were compromises made
from all political parties involved but I find it rather disgusting that once again, we have allowed the country’s principals to decide

Mugabe and Mutwambare

Mugabe and Mutwambare

what is important or not on their own. Others may celebrate the breakthrough as victory for the nation but I personally think we are further cultivating a culture where our leaders decide what is good for us without consulting anyone. I know the principals may have been in touch with their aides during this process but it is far too elitist to let them agree on their own without consulting the wider population. We seem to be developing trend of surrendering our loyalty to half backed solutions because we fear if we don’t, things may get worse, something that has not been politically proven.

We have a history in this

The sad thing that comes into my mind is that instead of moving away from the wrong approaches we used when we negotiated our first constitution in Lancaster House (1979), we seem to be falling back into to the same tricks of delaying important issues, something that might come back to haunt us later. In 1979, amongst other issues, we agreed to delay the land issue for about ten years and the



matter was forgotten until it came back to bite us almost two decades later. Today, there are no guarantees that whoever will be in power in ten years will revisit the changes in the constitution to honour issues that have been pushed back. It is likely that the country may be facing other serious problems that would need attention more than the proposed changes or we may be enjoying stability to the fact that the government of the day may claim that there is no need to go back to constitutional matters. There is no guarantee that the issue of running mates will come into effect ten years from now. It is clear that this issue is very divisive in all political parties and I wonder what makes us think that it won’t be in ten years. While there was agreement to effect the issue of executive powers which proposes to limit the terms of presidency to two five years terms, Mugabe will be dead in ten years and that suits him well. Devolution of powers will only be discussed in ten years, something that comes as a surprise agreement considering how tooth and nail, the MDC led by Ncube was fighting for this issue to be adopted. People made a clear point that they wanted powers to be devolved and I wonder whether this issue will come up again because whoever will be in power is likely to shelve it, using the same claim that Tsvangirai and Mugabe are using: saying it is very divisive. The issue of the attorney general sounds good but I doubt if the attorney general can stop the political madness that our country is facing today.

It has always been Mugabe’s plan

To say we are doomed is the least of description as far as events about the constitution have unfolded. Human rights abuses are far from over. Although challenged, there seem to be no clear direction as to where we are going in light of the so called breakthrough made by principals. The whole talk of breakthrough appears to be a diversion from real issues affecting our political system. We can give our leaders credit but it is difficult to explain why political violence is on the increase. Their word on stopping violence is not



being listened to by the players on the ground and this renders every other effort useless. We are struggling to repair the economy with our reckless talk as evidenced by the recent Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s comments who said the country has less than US 300 in its coffers. How then is this possible yet our country is home to mineral resources that are worth billions. An elite breakthrough on the constitution is not enough to solve the corruption problems we are facing, something that is gravely the reason why people’s choices are being changed by principals. After those ten years, it should not come as a surprise when we face resistance to revisit some of the issues mentioned above because Zimbabwe has a history of leaders who become too comfortable in their positions, turning a blind eye to people’s pleas. Also, Zimbabweans are a nation that obeys authority and are comfortable with stability even if it is chaotic in nature. Unless we change our nature of how we relate to our leaders, we will not achieve the goal of ultimate democracy we so desire. Ours will be negotiated and compromised for our sake of feeling vulnerable and threatened by political instability. The whole ten year wait on things appears to be a chance given to Mugabe by MDCs to land him a good exit package. Unfortunately, time to rebuild our lives cannot wait and we will feel the effect of letting things go without confronting them.

  1. Rejoice Ngwenya says:

    I have a problem with people like Madhuku: there is no political crisis that can be solved without a ‘compromised settlement’. All world wars were ended with conquest followed with a settlement by – what you call – an elite group. Twelve million Zimbabweans WRITING a constitution? On what planet? 10 year moratorium – perhaps stretching it far, but who cares? After ten years, the landscape may be radically different. I would hate to make a ‘constitution that deals with Mugabe’. My take – we were there as citizens, not politicians. Would it have worked any different had NCA taken a lead role – maybe – more commissions!

  2. Mathula says:

    The dangers of NCA was the refusal to participate in a process that sought p accommodate everyone. My Jews here are far from staying n the sample corner with teir position. I hear hey are campaigning for a no vote. My concern here was the agreements made after we so much ought o as we won’t allow any compromise. I think our position gets weakened by his especially in iew of Mugabe’s strategy of making our leaders look weak the eyes of the nation.

  3. Oscar Shelton says:

    A refreshing article that doesn’t canonise Welshman for a change.

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