Madhuku seeks to stop referendum

NATIONAL Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman Lovemore Madhuku yesterday filed an urgent chamber application seeking to stop the referendum scheduled for March 16.

Report by Charles Laiton

The application by Madhuku followed a recent announcement by the three political leaders in the coalition government that they had agreed on the final version of the draft constitution.

The agreement was followed by the referendum date proclamation by the President.

Madhuku argues that the time set by President Robert Mugabe for the referendum was grossly inadequate in light of the importance and complexity of the opinion being sought from voters.

“At the same time of setting of the date, (a) no official copy had been distributed, (b) there were no translated versions of the draft constitution and (c) no simplified versions existed and this is still the position at the time of this application,” Madhuku said.

He said while the President had the power under the Referendum Act to decide to ascertain the view of voters on certain issues and to set dates for a referendum, he could not act arbitrarily.

“The advice received by NCA is to the effect that the President must act reasonably and anything grossly unreasonable or irrational would, for that reason alone be ultra-vires the Referendum Act,” Madhuku said.

“The NCA is urgently seeking the intervention of this honourable court to set aside the March 16 date and order the President to give voters not less than two months from the date of its proclamation, such time will enable voters to share the few copies being distributed and more importantly to listen to different opinions on the issues at stake.”

Madhuku further said there was need for the translation of the draft constitution for a shorter version, the braille version and, thereafter, adequate time to read it, but in the present case the translations were yet to be done.

The matter is yet to be allocated a judge.

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  1. As much as I would love to disagree with him, he actually has decent points.

    (a) no official copy had been distributed- we had a final copy, then a final final, the another final final and now just a week ago another one was released… I mean come on, decide already.

    (b) there were no translated versions of the draft constitution- exactly how can my grandma in Binga, Tsholotsho or Chimanimani understand what is being said in complex English?

    (c) no simplified versions existed – EXACTLY. Again how can old people and uneducated people understand such an important document in their lives when it is written in “Lawyer”?, for that matter how can I? I am not a Lawyer and most of Zimbabweans aren’t lawyers. Simplify it. Do we legalize gay marriages? No. Do we execute prisoners found guilty of murder. Yes but only men…. stuff like that not boring, uncomprehensive Lawyer jargon.

    So yeah, I agree with Madhuku (Never thought I would actually say that. Ever.)

    1. i think we need enough time to analyse their final draft . Also lets be open we preach gospel of peace and gender equility in everywhere what does it mean when women were removed from death peanalty on murder charges while suspending us man vurnerable to death peanalty so it means there are no equal rights let that be corrected

      1. Bro is no longer gendr equality but gender quantity.

  2. Of course Madhuku does have a point..but unfortunately it is going to be perceived by many as just spoiling for a fight. We have heard that the NCA is going to campaign for a NO vote why not use this 2 months issue as part of the arsenal? Frankly this legal challenge is going to be perceived by the public in very bad taste given the nonsense that has been COPAC for the past 4 years. Of course the NCA have every right to do as it pleases but getting a tag ‘Enemy of the people’ is self defeating. Eitherway this looks to me like a lost cause..the merits of the case are in a different court but in the court of public opinion its something else. COPAC should however not insult the public by simply choosing intention to defend this action and walk away with hands in pocket. They have to be seen by the same public to be making an effort via print and electronic media to engage the public..2 weeks should be adequate to do this. You see the issue at stake is the ELECTION and people will frown on any effort to stop or delay the election without a real GOOD reason. One thing very clear is people are punch drunk and tired of it all and to ask them to join a fight which they have very little to gain according to their current dictates is a very dangerous move…the NCA is best advised to stick with its NO campaign and leave it at that, perhaps fight another day….

    1. very analytical treatise . he is not quite in sync with events .

    2. I think Madhuku suffers from the”fig jam” case. We dont want people who seek publicity stunts and talk, because simply they donot want to compromise their funding streams

  3. being a product of Prof Madhuku at UZ, this man always fights for a gd cause. even in this case there is substance and reason. behind you all the way Prof, we cnt hv politicians trampling on our rights and intelligence like this.

    1. How many people would read the constitution if it was given to them in the street, or a few paragraphs of a bed time story for that matter? Vanhu vari busy kutsvaga mari. Vanovhota most of them vanenge vasina kuiverenga. Really, there is no easy solution to this referendum and constitution issue.

  4. well said guys, af first i ddnt agree wth madhuku, bt he states valid facts. whr z e’ “final” copy? wat z really contained in it? doz the average zim understnd it? really we nd mo time to analyse it as a nation, madhuku is RIGHT for once! pple shdnt jst dismiss nca without hearin thm out

  5. i also dnt like the agreement by e’ principals that the party tht wins cn change it, shdnt pple have a say on tht. jst shows it wasnt pple driven. it was jst a political compromise

  6. Phunyukabemphethe

    Prof Madhuku will win this won, mark my words. So, no elections by July – the time is too short!

  7. @phunyu i think so too, but u knw in zim, our judges always make decisions based on politics not legal facts. bt it wl b interestin

  8. Madhuku kutsvaga relevance chete. Tibvire kumhepo!!! This is the end of road for NCA. Newevo Madhuku wakati handiende. You lost respect and you not find it again. Tinyararire!!!

    1. Usa venge saMadhuku uchidaro.Muzvinafundo Lovemore, apa makuma zvinonwisa mvura.In its current state and implementation strategy a ”NO” vote will see the light of day.What politicians do at times makes Madhuku relavant.

  9. Kana Baba vati yes, hapana anoramba. Referendum is there on the 16th of March, Madhuku is a very little insignificant man when it comes to Gushungo!

  10. @Phunyuka & People Power u are a confused lot, let ple air their veiws . Period!!!

  11. He may have a valid point but according to the situation we are running behind time so we need to catch up that is what our intelligent Madhuku is forgetting. This is also a publicity stunt by the man for I do not see giving people two months of reading the constitution making any difference for people are eager for the referendum. Thios displays that the man cannot be a leader for he lacks diplamacy

  12. Madhuku ari right muhu wrong hwake

  13. Professor Lovemore Madhuku is providing a litmus test case. As a guru on constitutional law, he has foreseen something which the ordinary men in the street cannot see. The Professor is more informed and enlightened than some of us in his quest for democratic audience. The arguments cited have merit considering that everyone has a bona fide right to access to information before making an informed judgment or vote allocation. Even one of the three political leaders has sensed that the COPAC Draft Constitution was flawed and has muted a plan to amend the draft once his party wins the elections. even the Chiefs are not happy with the current COPAC draft. therefore, Professor Lovemore Madhuku has a constituency of “No Vote” campaign. Lets wait and see the outcome of the Chamber application.

  14. madhuku iz just a stupid dictator whu refused to reliquish power when his term expired he is the same as the guyz he wantz to fyt

  15. who is \madhuku he is the NCA and the nca is Madhuku he is seeking relevance to justify donor money

  16. une hope iwe madhuku

  17. madhuku is correct.pple should be given time to read and understand the consttution.he makes a lot of noise but talks sense.many views given by people were left out.and why were the poitical parties at the forefront of writing the constitution.thats why it has a lot of flaws.some people want to gain personally.

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  19. Phunyukabemphethe

    Zim has 10 million people, Gukurahundis should stop day dreaming about the fanciful 14 million figure. Whilst we know that Gukurahundis love being many, unfortunately reality is not according their wishes – they will remain a minority in Southern Africa until Kingdom come.

    Zulus alone are 13 million, add uMthwakazi, add SA Nd.eb.ele. add amaSwati, add amaXhosa – then you know who is the boss in this region of countries that share a border with Mzansi!!!!


  20. Madhuku is dead right. Ndiyechete munhu anoziva zvaari kuita. Keep up the good fight Madhuku don’t listen to ignorant detractors.

    1. Madhuku has a valid point this is the supreme law of the land ,we need time to go through it . One month is too short

  21. madhuku has a fact let us be more informed of the contents of the final draft first

  22. On this one Madhuku is right and the timing is also okay so go for it Dr Madhuku and we will support you until fairness prevails in Zimbabwe.

  23. madhuku z ryt for once. i c hs argument hvn merit. we nd time to discuss it. if it wsnt flawed yy wl e’ winning party amend it thn?

  24. Am all in arms with the NCA chairperson, the final COPAC draft should have been all over by now despite financial bottle-necks they are telling us. We want to see if our input that we contributed was rightly considered because there was once dead lock

  25. if a constitution means anything then Maduku is right. How does some one vote for that which he does not know? Ko referendum ndeyei kana musingazive zviri mu bumbiro racho.
    Zimbabweans you are a lost cause. you are educated but you are foolish and stupid. You follow emotions and not brain work. This constitutions is meant to chart the way you will be governed but you take no time to ensure that indeed that is the way you wish to be governed. So long the politicians are satisfied with it you just follow. that is precisely why we are where we are as a country today. You all went to school and are supposed to be educated but you are lazy and ignorant to read a document that is meant to give you freedom or not. now politicians are running the show for you. tomorrow they will deny you those rights you are crying for because you were lazy to check if they were indeed enshrined in the constitution or not. They change it at will and deny you your contributions and you do nothing. It has taken politicians almost 5 years to agree on this constitution but they give you the Povo 3 weeks to read and accept. They know you are lazy and will not even read it thus the 3 weeks is for simply fulfilling procedure. they say they are now out of time and need to fast track the process but they took 5 years doing what? they wasted time now they want to recover it from the povo. They do not want it rejected and therefore few people will access the document and the rest will vote blind folded. Then you expect a prosperous Zimbabwe born out of a fraudulent process. My foot. You can only get a Somali out of this process. it will for ever be squables and debutchery as this kind of document does not unite or bring nation hood to all the nationals of the land. Many shall feel cheated and the desornance will perenially remain upon the land.

  26. Madhuku u are right, keep on fighting for justice. Enlightened pple like me will fully support u.

  27. Madhuku is right. How can people vote for something they dont know?Haikona kungosupporta zvinhu nokuti zvataurwa nevakuru veparty dzenyu. You are a Zimbabwean first before you are either a ZPF or MDC member.This politicians aer taking people for a ride.

  28. Hate t admit , Madhuku ‘s got some valid points there . U cnt jus ignore th man.

  29. As much as I’ll not vote against the compromised document, you’re spot on Prof Madhuku. Let people read for themselves. We’ve heard that Zimbabweans are highly literate, so it’s time they read and decide on what has been chosen for them by politicians. There is no need to hurry for elections. Remember election is time to kill one another in Zimbabwe.

  30. the constitution is a legal document requiring legal interpretation saka ma1 even if pple read it they will ultimately run with wt one who calls himself/herself an expert says or with wt the politicians say

  31. This is utter madness how can politicians want to rush us for a Yes vote….we should b left to read the document the final document that is, till we r satiesfied n two months is okay…..

  32. Whilst agree with Madhuku’s contentions (for the first time ever) I, however, think it is important that we bear in mind that in principle we are making a choice between the COPA and Lancaster House documents. So whichever we choose will govern us until the said reforms have implemented. We have rejected drafts before, and how has it changed things for us except that it has made our governance worse by the day?

  33. Mark my words guys (today on Bobs b/day) Madhuku wants to asses e influnce h has to the eloctrate, remember that h said h wll venture into fulltime politics soon. H found a good platfom, after refrendam its likely w wll c a new opposion. A new Zim is just a dream wth this Madhuku and Welshman (selfish individuals), its a CLEAR VICTORY FOR BOB

  34. Manje ndaandatotora off musi wa16 uyu Madhuku aakundidai chokwadi? Mhuri yeZimbabwe ndodii nhai?

  35. If the new constitution is adopted then madhuku and the NCA will no longer be relevant so he is singing for his supper

  36. madhuku is 100% spot on!! noisy and loud, bt stil a genius. we need mo time to read draft

  37. I hope that Mugabe will understand this. The problem is that people are jus being told to go and vote YES, they are not even worried about the contents of the Draft. As an Academia i totally agree with Prof on this one. People need time to go through the Draft, PERIOD!

  38. Mupfana weBikini

    People be honest, how many of us have read the past and present constitutions?Hw many buy and read newspapers?We hear most of these things through rumour mongering , which is another way of communication.Saka kuudzwa nemapato edu hazvina kuipa as long as vasinganyepi.

  39. Prof Madhuku, If you had interests of the Citizens at heart the NCA would have by now written a Counter Draft Constitution to present to the people and we would have been making informed choices.
    This business of waiting to ambush and castigate other people’s efforts is counter productive.
    The last referendum was in 2000!
    You had 13 years to make a difference but you didn’t so I suggest you take a back seat as you have been overtaken by events.

    1. Prof madhuku shw them e way..tsvangirai has joined the dectator full time.

  40. great publish, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector do not understand this. You must proceed your writing. I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  41. I actually trying to find out how I can join the NCA to help mobilise for a no vote because these politicians are now taking us for a joke. Tsvangirai after receiving and 3million dollar house and a wife from Mugabe is no longer with the people, he sold out a long time ago, thats why the americans tried to kill him in that accident that took his wife……. Ehe ndazvitaura ini.

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