It is appalling that the focus in Zimbabwe has shifted, not to giving people ample time to scrutinise that wretched draft constitution, but the focus has shifted to raising money for its referendum.
The people still have to study the draft constitution and give their feedback; feedback which will need to be acted upon and make relevant changes.
But no one is giving the people such time.
Why are we being bulldozed into this in such an arrogant and undemocratic manner?
All we want to do is to be careful.
It is our constitution, why all the pressure and hurry?
The date for the referendum should have been negotiated at least halfway into the voter information process. Some of those who are assisting in explaining the constitution to the people are being arrested.
Last week, it was announced that traditional chiefs would lead "a grassroots civic education programme" to campaign for the adoption of the draft constitution in a referendum set for March 16.
Why campaign before people get the necessary information?
Fortune Charumbira of the Chiefs Council said that the programme will see the traditional leaders going into villages to interpret the draft constitution to the villagers who they say lack understanding of the document.
And the traditional chiefs know the document well enough to "interpret it"?
Give me a break!
Why is the MDC doing this to the nation when they see clearly that something is terribly wrong here?
I honestly do not understand how the MDC, a party that was harassed by a warped constitution, now agrees with Zanu-Pf to come up with such a document for our nation. I just don't get it.
Why do politicians hate Zimbabwe so much? Why do they treat Zimbabwe like this? We cannot continue to have leaders come one after the other to denigrate and abuse our nation by denying it a decent constitution while they pile unreasonable powers on themselves.
Why did the MDC agree to set a date for a referendum before even the outreach programme to inform and gather people's views on the draft had started? Why are they in such a hurry now when they had all the time before?
And the MDC is in agreement with Zanu-Pf on all this.
Before we talk about a referendum, may we please give people as much time as they need to go over this document? It is a very important document and the nation should not be rushed into voting one way or the other for something they know very little about.
While at it, why is the MDC silent when people are being denied an opportunity to study the draft constitution? Why are they letting only Zanu-Pf approved people to go out and explain the constitution to the people?
What, in God's name, has become of the MDC?
Armed police raided the home belonging to an MDC parliamentarian, saying they were looking for military equipment and communication devices; civil society organisations are under siege, with armed men and women breaking into the offices of organisations involved with voter education. This after police had raided the headquarters of the same organisation in Harare a week earlier, purportedly looking for subversive material and illegal immigrants.
Can someone please tell me where Tsvangirai and his MDC are and what they are doing about all this? Are they satisfied that the referendum and the election will produce honest outcomes? Are they aware of impending loss of lives?
Just whose interests is the MDC serving now?
Since the formation of this so-called Government of National Unity, I have watched in horror as Tsvangirai and his MDC made concession after concession to Mugabe and his ZANU-PF without getting anything in return.
Time and time again, ZANU-PF would refuse to badge or agree to anything until the MDC let the issue die.
This is how the issues involving Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono, the appointment and swearing in of MDC governors, the issue of Attorney General Johannes Tomana and the Roy Bennett case died natural deaths in the hands of the MDC.
The result is that the MDC ended up making too many concessions with nothing to show for it.
And now just look at the concessions they made and are still making over this constitution.
Early last week, Tsvangirai called for an audit of the indigenisation deals, following accusations that many of those deals were born out of corrupt arrangements.
Tsvangirai stated that he was "concerned by alleged misdemeanours and corruption in the handling of empowerment transactions for several companies".
He said that he was concerned that government organs that were supposed to be handling such transactions were themselves "kept in the dark about the full nature of some of these transactions".
Tsvangirai called for a proper investigation to expose the truth about what happened and whether or not the State and the people of Zimbabwe were prejudiced in any way and whether all procedures and statutes were followed.
Said Tsvangirai: "It is, therefore, imperative and in the interest of transparency that Parliament, through its relevant committees, should probe this matter."
This was a fair call because national assets are involved. Most of those deals were made by a party at the exclusion of government, which is composed of two other political parties.
Fuelling the call for an audit is also the fact that beneficiaries of these offending deals were mostly ZANU-PF officials at the exclusion of any other people. We have always been made to believe that the indigenisation programme was meant to benefit the majority but, in reality, the programme is benefiting the politically connected, just like the land invasions that benefitted only ZANU-PF officials and supporters.
ZANU-PF does not want to hear anything about a land audit to determine who and how many people actually benefitted from ZANU-PF's land redistribution programme.
Now they do not want to hear about an audit of indigenisation deals.
Said Rugare Gumbo, Zanu-Pf spokesperson: "For our part, we call on all our Members of Parliament to treat Mr Tsvangirai's miserable move with the disdain it deserves."
He continued: "We are appalled by the Prime Minister's call for a parliamentary probe into the on-going indigenisation exercise. ZANU-PF's position is that we will resist this latest attempt with the greatest vigour possible."
If you suddenly turn a corner and happen upon someone who immediately starts running away like he was on fire, you might as well give chase because sure as mud is mud, that person is as guilty as sin.
Gumbo's outburst is a clear indication that these ZANU-PF thieves do not want anyone sniffing around their loot, seeing as we do that most ZANU-PF people embroiled in divorce cases now almost always give away a farm or two as part of the divorce settlement.
The heart of the matter is that Tsvangirai and his MDC must clearly identify their aims, aspirations and goals and stick by them like ticks on the breast of dogs.
The MDC has dangerously veered off the track.
They cannot continue to ignore important issues. Talk is talk but action is imperative.
Calling for an audit is a normal democratic practice meant to assure the people that their nation is being run properly, above board and transparently. Audits inspire confidence and promote national well-being.
It is my hope that Tsvangirai stands his ground this time and that he works extra hard to make sure that we not only have an audit of indigenisation deals and land, but that we have audits in every other enterprise in which national assets have been entrusted to our government officials. He must not disappoint us by backing down.
Tsvangirai is calling for an audit, not of anyone's personal assets but of national assets so why would people like Rugare Gumbo use their "greatest vigour possible" to resist simple audit of national assets?
We know why.
My advice to Gumbo and his team is for them to save that vigour for Chikurubi - they will need the maximum of it there.
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Monday, February 25, 2013.