Friday, October 29, 2010

Western-backed MDC-T Disowns People-drive Constitution in Zimbabwe

Tsvangirai disowns people-driven constitution

By Zvamaida Murwira and Peter Matambanadzo
Zimbabwe Herald

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has all but abandoned the constitution-making process after declaring this week that his party will impose its own supreme law should it win next year’s elections.

The three main political parties — Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC — in 2008 committed themselves to steering a constitution-making process that will lead to fresh elections.

However, MDC-T has in recent weeks been trying to pull out of the process and is calling for the imposition of a constitution without popular participation.

On Tuesday, Mr Tsvangirai told party supporters at Cyril Jennings Hall in Highfield, Harare, that MDC-T would put in place its own constitution if it comes into power.

He said: "The current Lancaster (House) constitution is not ours and this one again is not ours.

"We have to come up with our own document," he said.

Constitution Select Committee co-chairperson Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana yesterday criticised MDC-T’s double standards.

"If he thinks that way, why then does he have his team taking part in the constitution-making process?

"Honourable (Douglas) Mwonzora and other MDC members are participating. They should make up their mind," Cde Mangwana said.

He pointed out that constitution-making was not a partisan, but rather a national issue.

"Is he suggesting that every time a new Government comes in, then the country will get a new constitution?

"What kind of country would we have?" Cde Mangwana asked.

He added: "Zimbabweans will not sell out and MDC-T has failed to smuggle in their Western interests in the people-driven constitution to reverse the gains of the land reform progra-mme."

Other observers said Mr Tsvangi-rai’s statement showed the party’s lack of commitment to democratic proce-sses and principles.

National Constitutional Assembly chairman Dr Lovemore Madhuku said: "Tsvangirai is a reactionary leader.

"He could have said this earlier. That statement is reactionary. Politicians promise what they don’t deliver.

"Just like when he joined the Government of National Unity he promised things that he has never changed.

"We don’t take this seriously because it is unlikely that he will be president if he does not support a people-driven constitution.

"The assumption that he will be the next President is fallacy. We don’t see that happening!"

Political analyst and Tsholotsho North House of Assembly representative Professor Jonathan Moyo said Mr Tsvangirai wanted to treat Zimbabwe like his personal "playground".

"What is scandalous about that statement is that it is not only coming from a president of a party and a person who signed the GPA, but from the Prime Minister of a country.

"It shows he is unfit to lead this country."

He said no leader since the commencement of the First Chimurenga had ever uttered such reckless statements.

"One thing we can assure him is that he will not lead this country," said Prof Moyo.

"He has no principles. He thinks Zimbabwe is a playground and people are fed up with this drama.

"What he must be asking himself is why his party is losing support, not only from its supporters but from its financiers as well."

Zanu-PF secretary for administration Cde Didymus Mutasa said Mr Tsvangirai had once again publicly declared his intention to subvert the will of the people.

"It shows he is a bad leader. It is MDC-T that has been making noise about the need for a new and people-driven constitution.

"The GPA which he signed and was agreed by all the three political parties and backed by Sadc and the African Union says we should come up with a new and people-driven constitution.

"The process has been going on well. For him to say what he is saying it just shows that he is a bad leader."

Cde Mutasa described Mr Tsvangirai as "immature".

Political analyst Mr Godwine Mureriwa said MDC-T wanted to impose a party constitution on a nation and reverse policies such as land reform and economic indigenisation.

"What is apparent is that MDC-T is against the present process because they thought ordinary people would undo land reforms and indigenisation for them.

"When the outreach started they discovered that the national sentiment was generally supportive of Zanu-PF’s policies and so they don’t want a people-driven constitution any more.

"Besides that, there is a very big and misplaced assumption by Mr Tsvangirai that he will win the Presidential elections and his party will get the two-thirds parliamentary majority needed under the Lancaster House constitution to amend the supreme law," Mr Mureriwa said.

MDC-T has been roundly condemned for not fulfilling its end of the bargain in the GPA by failing to call for the lifting of illegal Western sanctions on Zimbabwe, among other issues.

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