The Release of a Zanu-PF Draft: A Political Litmus Test

The talk on the ZANU PF proposed amendments to the COPAC draft has become the main debate in town. Put differently, this hype around the new ZANU PF draft constitution is just much ado about nothing. The COPAC drafting phase  (with ZANU PF participating) came to an end with all political parties appending their signatures onto the COPAC draft constitution which in its sense was an act of endorsement of both process and content. Predictably, after the submission of the COPAC draft, ZANU PF spin-doctors and Chief anarchists convened their own parallel constitution making process which in the eyes of many was bent on creating confusion and stalling the people's process. However, as an individual I beg to differ with ZANU PF's rationale behind bringing a totally new draft constitution on the table.


ZANU PF is known for   using uncouth political means in order to hang on to power and it is   really surprising that they would want us to believe that they sincerely want to be part of a formal process in which people will play a pivotal role and will be allowed to decide without any political interference. The reason behind a parallel document is for ZANU PF to have an opportunity to carry out a poll opinion survey without footing the bill. Such an opinion   poll would allow the nocturnal ZANU PF strategists to gauge the voting trend and subsequently activate instruments at their disposal in order to ensure an outright ZANU PF victory or at worst another inconclusive election result. It is no longer news in town that ZANU PF is now aware of its growing unpopularity among both potential and actual voters.


When Freedom House and the Mass public Opinion Institute [M.P.O.I] publicized their findings of the 'Change and new politics in Zimbabwe' Survey even the    ZANU PF chief political architects were quick enough to dismiss the findings. They were only prepared to boast that the people of Zimbabwe have finally realized that ZANU PF is a party that advocates for black economic empowerment. The mere fact that they could not embrace the findings in full is a clear sign that ZANU PF is not convinced that they are the most popular party in Zimbabwe and hence a referendum that pits their draft versus the COPAC one will provide them with a very good platform to measure their popularity ahead of the 2013 watershed election.


History has it on good record that the rejection of the 2000 constitution provided a fertile ground for ZANU PF to consolidate its power by orchestrating a reign of terror on white farmers. I remember watching President Robert Mugabe on state television on the 13th of February 2000, presenting his widely applauded speech which was reconciliatory and gave hope for political unity and the existence of political tolerance. Little did we know that his words were not to last  beyond 12 mid night that same day, for on the 14th of February the following day, the very first farm invasion was reported in Chief Svosve's area followed by a string of invasions on white owned farms. My own analysis of that situation was embedded on the idea which ZANU PF embraced in which it saw an onslaught on its ideology and existence. It is against this political background that one does not need to consult a rocket scientist if briefed about the current ZANU PF stance with regards to the current constitution making process.


The Joint Operations Command [J.O.C] has not downed its tools. Let us not be fooled by rhetoric or the creation of the so called National Security Council. JOC is alive and kicking. It is simply dormant and awaiting activation. JOC will eventually emerge once again to deal with any dissenting voices. Zimbabweans should    brace for another bloody show-down if ever there are going to be two draft constitutions  up for selection at the next referendum and more-so if people decide to dump the ZANU PF draft for the COPAC one. The results of the referendum shall be a ZANU PF litmus test which shall form the basis for ZANU PF's election strategy for 2013.


With that in mind, it is important for all political parties in the GPA to allow the people of Zimbabwe the chance to give their verdict at the referendum where only the COPAC draft constitution shall be presented for the people of Zimbabwe. This is the only draft that is a product of both a people driven process and negotiation. ZANU PF should take its draft constitution to its congress and let the members of ZANU PF have their own referendum and not the people of Zimbabwe. It is a process error for anyone to say that let us have the national report before the referendum because this report should also inform the nation and the international community on how this constitution making process went about from the beginning   up until Zimbabwe the referendum stage. All signatories to the G.P.A must ensure that this process is safeguarded from fly by night politicians who are always prepared to speak on behalf of the people and not for the people. Let the people decide.  Another Zimbabwe is possible!!!!


By Tendai Carter Muchada

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