Zimbabwe’s new constitution will have no value if people do not refrain from the culture of politically-motivated violence, a Cabinet minister has said.
Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister, Eric Matinenga said this at a constitutional and parliamentary advocacy meeting in Bulawayo on Wednesday.
His sentiments come in the wake of political violence that engulfed Harare and Chitungwiza in the past few weeks prompting the leaders of the three political parties that form the inclusive government to converge a peace indaba.
President Robert Mugabe (Zanu PF), Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC T) and Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube (MDC) addressed the meeting.
Matinenga said a new constitution was not a guarantee there would be no violence in the next presidential elections. He implored Zimbabweans to change their behaviour to complement the constitution.
“A good constitution does not guarantee you a violence free election,” Matinenga said.
“That is why there is need for this constitution to be complemented by a change in the culture and behaviour of Zimbabweans so that they desist from violent behaviour.”
Responding to concerns raised over tribalism, Matinenga said the current constitution prevents discrimination in terms of one’s ethnicity, gender and race. He said he was disappointed to hear there were people who discriminated against others on the basis of tribe.
“We need to have a change of culture in the way we do business and as we look forward to our new constitution let us look at not only having a new constitution but also a new culture,” Matinenga said.