The Herald (Harare)

6 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Madhuku Blasted Over 'Vote No' Campaign

National Constitutional Assembly chairman Proffessor Lovemore Madhuku has been criticised for advocating for a "Vote No" to the draft constitution during the forthcoming referendum. Prof Madhuku told a press conference on Tuesday that the NCA is set to hold a door-to-door campaign against the draft as it was not a people driven constitution, but represented the interests of three political parties.

He also 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.

Zanu PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo yesterday said Prof Madhuku had no right to decide the wish of the people.

"Madhuku is just grandstanding in a bid to mobilise money for his broke organisation. He refused to take part in the constitution process and has been saying that he will oppose it from the very beginning," said Cde Gumbo.

He said it was Prof Madhuku's opinion to oppose the draft constitution, but that could not deter them from doing what was in the interest of people.

MDC-T spokesman and COPAC co-chairperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora said that the draft was a people driven constitution and Prof Madhuku had been ill-advised for not participating in the process.

"The draft constitution was a culmination of consultation with the people and nothing is going to stop us from taking the document back to the people highlighting its contents," said Mr Mwonzora.

"It is not up to Madhuku, Zanu PF or the MDC to purport to speak for the people. The civic education that is going to be carried out is not meant to coerce people to vote for the draft constitution, but have them make their own decision."

He said the problem with so called professors like Madhuku was they thought they knew what was good for everyone, instead of letting the people think for themselves.

Political analyst Mr Jerry Gotora had no kind words for Prof Madhuku, saying that he did not know the basic tenets of democracy.

"Madhuku claims to be a democrat, but does not accept all the democratic principles. The results of democracy are that when the majority wins, the minority becomes subservient to the majority," said Mr Gotora.

"When we went to the 2008 polls, three parties dominated the polls culminating in formation of the Government of National Unity, which is the majority and will make decisions for minority parties and the likes of Madhuku."

He questioned which people were represented by Prof Madhuku when he has never dared to contest any election and win votes.

"Whose doors is Madhuku going to knock on during his door-to-door campaign? Aren't they doors that belong to supporters of the Government Principles?" said Mr Gotora.

"He should be reminded that the major political parties will also go on a door-to-door campaign for a 'Vote Yes,' and they will be knocking on the doors of their supporters."

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

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