Constitution-making has failed –– Madhuku
WITH the ongoing confusion in the constitution drafting process, the
Zimbabwe Independent reporter Elias Mambo (EM) spoke to National
Constitution Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku (LM) about the
EM: What do you think are the reasons for the ongoing stalemate and lack of
progress in Copac?
LM: There is one fundamental reason for the stalemate which is the
domination of political parties. The process is spearheaded by political
parties and they are bound to be driven by partisan political factors. The
framework that sets up Copac are three parties with different interests,
therefore each party will want to spearhead its political agenda. Whatever
happens, it will end up with a Zanu PF/ MDC wrangle. That’s why there is
need for a people-driven process that is led by an independent commission.
EM: What do you mean by people-driven constitution given an example of the
South African constitution where people were not involved yet it is one of
the best constitutions in the world. So why involve everyone?
LM: By people-driven, we mean a process that is genuine, a process which is
independent of the political parties themselves, a process that allows the
people to express their legitimate views, a process where there is a fair
amount of understanding that there was free expression and aspirations
EM: How do you see this process given that Zanu PF seems no longer
LM: It’s not Zanu PF that is no longer interested; it’s the whole Copac
group. It’s very unfair to blame Zanu PF. It’s only that Zanu PF is
forthright; they speak faster than other players. The whole group has no
interest. They do not meet their deadlines and it has taken them three years
to complete a task that was supposed to take 18 months. Arguments they make
show lack of seriousness and their argument is taken over by other
EM: With the way things are, is it not clear that the constitution-making
process has failed?
LM: Yes, the constitution-making process has failed. In fact, it failed a
long time ago. Our problem was to allow a failed process to go on as if it
was succeeding. We still think the Copac team must be disbanded and put a
team that is independent. It’s not too late to disband Copac.
EM: Given this scenario, elections or no elections without the constitution?
LM: Elections are not necessarily dependent on a new constitution.
Government has a five-year life span. If we reach 2013, then we must have a
debate to say what authority will govern the country. If there is no
constitution, then we must produce a dialogue for a proper governance of the
EM: Then what do you think is the way forward for Zimbabwe?
LM: The ideal thing, the best thing is to disband Copac, or they must
complete whatever they are doing then we take it to a referendum, if
rejected then we start again properly.
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