Sunday, January 24, 2010

Zimbabwe Vice-President Says New Constitution Must Reflect Liberation Struggle

Craft true Zimbabwean constitution: VP Mujuru

From Chakanetsa Chidyamatiyo in MT DARWIN
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

VICE President Joice Mujuru yesterday said the new constitution should be people-oriented and reflect the history of the liberation struggle.

Cde Mujuru made these remarks while addressing more than 2 500 delegates at the launch of the Zanu-PF national outreach programme on the constitution-making process in Mt Darwin.

The programme, expected to spread to the other provinces, is expected to encourage people across the political divide to participate in the constitution-making process.

Zanu-PF, Cde Mujuru said, was obliged to take a leading role in the crafting of the new constitution since it was the repository of knowledge on the country’s liberation struggle.

“As Zanu-PF we have a rich history and understand where the country came from, where it is and where it is going.

“No one or any other political party possesses such history better than you, so you should be instrumental in the constitution-making process,” she said.

She emphasised that the new constitution should be for Zimbabweans by Zimbabweans.

Cde Mujuru said the country was aware that its Western enemies were making frantic efforts to hijack the constitution-making process to their benefit. “We know the enemy is trying to interfere with the constitution-making process through some NGOs.

“The new constitution should strictly be Zimbabwean and we should continuously remind each other so that we understand the constitutional issues,” she said.

Cde Mujuru said the current Lancaster Constitution was re-built via 19 amendments, a clear reflection of its gross shortcomings.

“We came up with the Lancaster Constitution in 1979 after neighbouring countries through the then Frontline States (now Sadc) pleaded with us to go to the negotiation table, as the war was spilling beyond our borders.

“It, however, reflected the interests of Smith and his Western allies instead of the Zimbabwean.

‘That explains why it is riddled with 19 amendments,” she said.

She urged the delegates attending the two-day workshop to come up with a common party position on the contents of the constitution, instead of fragmented and selfish ideologies.

“As Zanu-PF we should go as a party and also hear what people want,” she said.

Cde Mujuru said the idea of crafting the new constitution was not new, as it was one of the liberation war agendas.

“With the new constitution we are merely fulfilling the unfinished business, since those who crafted the Lancaster Constitution did not appreciate our wishes,” she said.

Cde Mujuru said Western countries should not teach Zimbabwe about democracy since they failed to do the same before the liberation struggle.

“They tell us about democracy. Where was democracy before the war?

“Democracy is a product of Cde Mugabe and the now late Vice-President Cde Joshua Nkomo, which came through the liberation war.”

She said Western countries had finally revealed who was behind the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. “We have always been saying the sanctions were not imposed by the West but by the MDC-T,” she said.

The workshop was attended by the Minister of Media Information and Publicity, Cde Webster Shamu; the Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development, Cde Nicholas Goche; the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere; the co-chairperson of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution, Cde Paul Mangwana; and Mashonaland Central Governor and Resident Minister Advocate Martin Dinha, among other officials.

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