5 February 2013

Zimbabwe: NCA to Hold Door to Door 'Vote No' Campaigns

Zimbabwean Justices

The National Constitution Assembly is set to hold door to door "Vote No" campaigns to the draft constitution during the forthcoming referendum, alleging that the process was not people driven.

Addressing a press conference in Harare today, NCA chairman Dr Lovemore Madhuku said although they had limited resources, they would go ahead with the door to door campaigns across the country.

He did not rule out the possibility of the NCA combining forces with other civic organizations and students' unions during the campaigns.

"This is not a democratic and people driven constitution. Instead, this is a constitution being imposed on us by three political parties, yet the people are bigger than these three political parties," said Dr Madhuku.

"No political party or group of political parties must be allowed to give the country a constitution. It must come from the people."

He said the draft constitution was not about what people wanted or said, but about the selfish and personal interests of politicians and would not survive the test of time.

Dr Madhuku said politicians spent four years and squandered over US$50 million to produce a constitution that was not good for the country but for themselves.

"If people say yes to a constitution being imposed by political parties, they will be giving away their power permanently and politicians will never respect the people," said Dr Madhuku.

Dr Madhuku said there was nothing good in the draft constitution, pointing out that the Kariba Draft and Lanchester House Constitution were better off as they had some positive points.

He said the country should proceed straight ahead with the harmonized polls using the Lanchester House Constitution, with people being allowed to write their own constitution after the elections through an independent constitutional commission.

Dr Madhuku castigated the proposed outreach programme by COPAC to conscientise people about contents of the draft constitution, claiming that would be amounting to a campaign for the draft.

"The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should now take over everything that has to do with the draft constitution, including awareness campaigns and not politicians," said Dr Madhuku.

He expressed his disappointment with the MDC, highlighting that the NCA had resolved in 2001 to support a party that would oversee the crafting of a people driven constitution.

"Now the MDC has of late been issuing irresponsible statements. I was shocked at the burial of the late Dr John Makumbe by some of the intimidating statements that were made, with an open campaign to vote yes during the referendum," said Dr Madhuku.

He said the NCA also expected the referendum and elections to be held before 28 June when the Parliamentary term expires, with any extension of the Government being illegal.

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