MDC-T has threatened a “No Vote” campaign if the proposed constitution does not reflect the will of the people.
The party also blamed Sadc for not being tough on Zanu PF in addressing outstanding issues in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement.
Party spokesperson Nelson Chamisa told hundreds of party supporters at a rally in Chitungwiza Sunday that MDC-T was not happy with the ongoing process, citing intimidation and violence against villagers in most parts of the country.
Chamisa said the Constitution Select Committee (Copac)’s handling of information dissemination and the state media’s treatment of the constitution-making process were a cause for concern.
“We are not happy with Copac’s information dissemination and the public media’s blackout of this important process,” Chamisa said.
“Elections have to come after the necessary reform processes that include the drafting of a new constitution. We are expecting a constitution, but we are not happy with the way things are being handled. If the new constitution does not reflect the will of the people, we will reject it. We will only accept constitutions that reflect the will of the people.”
“There are things we agreed on with Zanu PF that are not being implemented. There are issues we are not in agreement with at all that include Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana. We are not against them as individuals but how they were imposed on those positions without consultations in the inclusive government,” Chamisa said.
“There is also the issue of the swearing-in of Roy Bennett as Deputy Minister of Agriculture and the continuation of unilateral decisions by Zanu PF in appointing public figures.”
Chamisa also took a swipe at the state media for failing to carry out its mandate of informing Zimbabweans on the constitution-making process.
“There are no debates on national television. We should be having such, after the main news. We should get into debates on the constitution and that is what we want. The youths should say what they want in the constitution, women and men should do the same, but there is no platform for that to happen.
What we only see are partisan jingles,” he said referring to the Zanu PF jingles being flighted on television.
He said people should freely express themselves during the process and should not be coached on what to say.
Chamisa said the sole broadcaster (ZBC) was still behaving like a Zanu PF mouthpiece instead of being a voice of the people.
“They are playing Zanu PF jingles every day. We have our own jingles and if they want to be fair they should play our jingles as well.”
The issue of provincial governors, he said, remained of concern in the inclusive government as Zanu PF was shifting goalposts on the agreed position.
“Their governors’ term expired on July 31 and we waited for that. Now they say governors will be sworn in simultaneously with the removal of sanctions. We were not there when they were doing things that made them get those sanctions,” he said. “We are trying to help them cleanse themselves,” he said.
He also told the gathering of the new party card MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai launched last week urging party members to secure the card as MDC-T was in a massive restructuring exercise.
MDC-T has joined other groups that have threatened a “No Vote” campaign. The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and the Zimbabwe National Students Union have already concluded that the process was flawed and have threatened to lead a “No Vote” campaign against an outcome that does not reflect people’s wishes.
NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku recently urged youths to reject the flawed process as it would not reflect the will of the people.
“When you see the Copac people at your colleges, kick them out because it’s your future at stake and you have to defend it,” he said. Cases of intimidation were rife in rural areas with war veterans threatening villagers who want to freely express themselves.
This is the second major attempt by Zimbabwe to come up with a new constitution after the “No Vote” of 2000 stopped the process.
The current constitution, which came into being in 1980, has been amended 19 times.