Statement on Zimbabwe’s National Independence Day
The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) today pays tribute to the gallant sons and daughters of this great country who fought fearlessly for the independence of this country. It is in the same spirit that we register our deep concerns over the way the ZANU-PF government has destroyed the national fabric of this great country.
As we celebrate these thirty two years of self rule we are disappointed that today the culture of ZANU-PF has become so endemic in our society. It is ironic that the state apparatus that are meant to protect the people of Zimbabwe and foster an environment of peace (the army and the police) have become the chief perpetrators of violence and chief violators of human rights. The skewed judiciary system is a total derailment of the gains of the liberation struggle. Those opposed to ZANU PF, are being treated unfairly in our courts of law. 32 years after our independence, the laws governing the land, reminiscent the colonial times were the infamous LOMA was arbitrarily used to crash dissenting voices.
We deplore in the strongest terms the abuse of state machinery by ZANU-PF for political gains.
The national Independence is coming right at a time when Zimbabwe is at the crossroads regarding the writing of a new constitution for the country. As all of you are aware that the Select Committee of Parliament known as ‘COPAC,’ has failed to produce a draft constitution despite all the time and the resources they got from donors.
As the NCA, we passed a vote of NO confidence in COPAC, since the day it was incepted, after a careful analysis that the model as articulated by Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), was far from what the people of Zimbabwe envisaged as a process that can yield a truly democratic constitution for Zimbabwe.
Now we are eagerly waiting for the failed COPAC group to officially release their negotiated draft to be tabled for the referendum. Our campaign will be intensified in our villages, townships and farm meetings. As NCA we remain fully committed to the same National Working Peoples Convention resolutions and its commitment to democracy as well as social and economic justice. In the twelve or so years since the NWPC and the formation of the MDC, we have also steadfastly maintained that true democratic change can only be arrived at via a people driven constitution making process and this is reaffirmed in the Zimbabwe’s People’s Charter.
As we celebrate our independence we remain dedicated to our Take Charge campaign for a ‘NO’ vote in the pending constitutional referendum. In campaigning for a NO VOTE in the referendum the NCA is just re-affirming that Zimbabwe needs a home grown, people driven and democratic constitution.
A “NO” vote does not mean that people want to be governed by the current Lancaster House Constitution. It does not mean that we want future elections to be held under the current Lancaster House Constitution. It simply means that we want a good constitution and we are rejecting a bad one.
In opposing the COPAC process, we are not opposing this moral demand. We are fulfilling it. Our argument is that the mistakes of 1979 cannot be repeated. And neither should we settle principle for political expediency. Constitution making is in itself a continuation of a political struggle for democracy. It is the fight for a democratic constitution, we are qualifying the dream of a Zimbabwe we want.
This we cannot allow and we are convinced politicians will realise that Zimbabweans are clear on what they want and the Zimbabwe they want to build. We cannot have the process be driven by those whose power society seeks to limit! It has to be an independent commission – independent from this over-arching hand of politicians! We urge you all to be resolute and steady fast in this front line walk of advancement towards egalitarianism. Let us join hands, take charge and complete this change which is imminent.
NCA National Spokesperson
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