NCA Launches A No Vote Campaign
Harare, July 21, 2011 – Zimbabwe’s National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
has launched a campaign to urge voters to reject a government written
constitutional draft in a referendum scheduled for end of the year.
The NCA is a political pressure group bringing together civil rights and
pro-democracy groups, opposition parties, churches, the labour and student
movements’ opposed to ongoing constitutional reforms
led by the government.
The mainstream Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai was a member of the NCA until recently when it was
expelled from the organization for participating in the government led
constitutional reform process.
The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) which launched a successful “No
Vote” campaign in 2000 which led to the rejection of a draft constitution
produced by the Chidyausiku commission has launched a campaign for a “No
Vote” once again.
The organisation has produced millions of fliers carrying the “No Vote”
“Zimbabwe had a referendum on a new constitution in February 2000. The
majority of the people who participated in that referendum voted No and
rejected a constitution that was being imposed by the politicians of the
day,” read one the million fliers which are also translated in Shona and
“There is no difference between the referendum of 2000 and the referendum
that the GPA political parties are talking about. This is because like in
2000 the constitution that will be presented to the people in 2011 is not
coming from the people. It is coming from the politicians of the day. Copac
has not been driven by the people but by selfish Zimbabweans.”
Copac is a parliamentary body leading the constitution making process. NCA
says the political parties want to impose a constitution on the people.
“The political leadership is drawn by its own selfish political interests.
Political leaders do not want a democratic constitution. Zimbabwean must not
allow a constitution driven by the interests of the political leadership.
They must vote NO whenever politicians want to impose a constitution,” the
“Rejecting a bad constitution at the referendum by voting NO will allow the
people to write a constitution for themselves.”
The fears of a negotiated constitution were heightened at the weekend
following reports by the leader of the smaller MDC party, Welshman Ncube who
told a rally in one of Harare’s high density suburbs that
the final constitutional document is likely to be a negotiated settlement.
Zimbabwe is supposed according to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) to
have a new constitution in place before the country can hold the next
So crucial is the constitution that the country’s political parties have in
recent months argued over matters such as methods of interpreting
information gathered from the public.
Zimbabweans hope a new constitution will guarantee human rights, strengthen
the role of Parliament and curtail the president’s powers, as well as
guaranteeing civil, political and media freedoms.