- Last Updated on 28 February 2013
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MDC-N President and Minister of Industry and Commerce, Prof. Minister Welshman Ncube has encouraged Zimbabweans to Vote Yes in the forthcoming referendum, while joining a list of the early proponents of constitutional reform in Zimbabwe who regret the 2000 No Vote.
Ncube was speaking at a State- Civil Society Interface Forum at the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition head offices in Harare on Wednesday, February 27, 2013.
Prof. Ncube who is also former National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) Task force member advised people not to repeat the 2000 Vote No blunder. He urged people to use this opportunity to make Zimbabwe move forward. NCA founding chairperson and now Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Rt. Hon. Morgan Tsvangirai and ex-NCA Spokesperson and now COPAC Co-chairperson Hon. Douglas Mwonzora have aired the same view that the COPAC draft constitution represents incremental gains and its rejection would be a repeat of the 2000 miscalculation.
Ncube said: "We rejected the constitution of 2000 because we wanted a perfect constitution.
"Guess what? Had we accepted that constitution we would not be having Robert Mugabe as a problem today because that constitution would have stopped him from contesting in the forth coming elections. €
Ncube chided those who would reject the current draft Constitution not to repeat the supposed mistake.
"We are aware that there is a fair measure of unhappiness in civil society in the process which was used to make this constitution.
"We saw there are those who are still holding onto the purist way of writing a new constitution.
"The NCA as represented by its current chairperson Madhuku is still holding to that purist path, € Ncube acknowledged.
He recalled: "We lured Judge Hlatshwayo to write a roadmap for the NCA at St. Lucia Park and we were all present.
"We did not write it as a bible. €
"I don't think we will have an opportunity to have it the perfect way, € said Ncube.
The MDC-N rejected the charge by leader of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) in Zimbabwe and former MDC Highfields MP Munyaradzi Gwisai that the draft Constitution retained imperial presidential powers.
"The only close comparison is that the position of the president it is now nothing more than a glorified clerk as Jonathan Moyo says.
"If you compare those powers with the powers of the president of South Africa, it is not as hopeless a constitution as some will like to make us believe, € Ncube said.
Ncube said one reason his MDC formation would support the document is that it is "better than the current one in all areas, € adding that it provides for devolution. "It's not perfect devolution, but it is devolution nonetheless. €
Ncube said as someone who has spent two years teaching comparative law at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) he considered the draft Constitution to be "as good as you can get. €
The Law Professor in suggesting the document was flawless said: "If I go back to university, I would like my students to go clause by clause and tell me where they can improve. €
He said: "More so, remember that we were writing this constitution in a context where the anti-democratic forces were more powerful than the democratic forces.
"We support it, we continue to support it and urge people to vote yes because it is five steps forward and it represents some incremental gains. €
"There is an American saying which says 'do not let your quest for the perfect be an enemy of the good' €, said Ncube.