HomeOpinion & AnalysisLet people’s views prevail

Let people’s views prevail

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Zimbabweans now have every reason to be afraid, especially after proclamations by President Robert Mugabe that the “unholy trinity” had all the power as mandated by the Global Political Agreement (GPA) to take charge of the constitution-making process.

NewsDay Comment

Given the continued haggling, suspicions and finger-pointing in the process, ordinary citizens who were made to believe earlier that they were the rightful custodians of the process, now have to be contend with the fact that the trio of Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube and/or Arthur Mutambara and not Parliament, have powers to veto the constitution-making process.

While Mugabe sat at the high table together with Tsvangirai and Mutambara, the discord was audible and clearly illustrated in their speeches with Tsvangirai distancing himself from usurping people’s power by other principals while Mugabe declared that Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana and Douglas Mwonzora’s glory days as co-chairs were over.

But Tsvangirai insisted that the process was driven by Article 6 of the GPA which required the Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac) to take charge. That is far from the truth.

That Mugabe threatened to walk out if Mutambara was not accommodated during the meeting is clear testimony of egocentrism at play and obviously removing the essence of people taking charge. So many a time it was what Mugabe wanted that prevailed, never what the people wanted.

Again it brings back the debate of who “the people” being referred to by politicians are. To Mugabe what the people want is what will serve his interests and those of his Zanu PF party.

At the end of it all, it seems the countrywide consultations were a farce and therefore a waste of time and resources if the GPA principals will have the final word by virtue of them having negotiated the GPA.

Our fear is that given the chaotic nature the whole process has been, the referendum could be used as a political tool to test the different parties’ support ahead of the watershed elections, reminiscent of the 2000 referendum that gave Mugabe and his party a wake-up call ahead of Parliamentary elections that announced the arrival of the MDC on the political front.

Mugabe said: “We want what the majority said they wanted. Do not bring a new view (qualitative method) so that it destabilises us. A popular view is a popular view. When we are voting in the next elections, are we going to use the qualitative method?”

Whether the constitution-making process will reach its logical conclusion or not, the question that will linger in the hearts and minds of many is: “Were the people’s views captured?”

These allegations by Mugabe are simply meant to whip people’s emotions against the Copac-led constitution-making process. We hope this will not throw the country into another volatile situation where protagonists have to fight each other for their positions.

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