Felex Share — NATIONAL Constitutional Assembly chairman Professor Lovemore Madhuku will step down during the organisation's congress on Saturday as he moves to launch an as yet to be named political party which he says will be pan-African in outlook. The NCA congress will be held in Harare while the political party, sources say, will be launched in December.
Sources yesterday said while Prof Madhuku's term as NCA chairman had lapsed, members were likely to endorse a plan to form a political party that he would lead as he moves to capitalise on the dwindling fortunes of his erstwhile allies in MDC-T
Prof Madhuku, who has been accused of clinging to power, has served his two five-year terms and according to the NCA constitution, is not legible to stand for re-election again.
Prof Madhuku yesterday confirmed his term of office had ended, adding the Saturday congress would discuss the future of the NCA.
He said the NCA wanted to use political methods to get a "democratic constitution," after it failed to push for its agenda during the last constitution-making process spearheaded by the inclusive Government.
"The first point of discussion would be the future of the organisation. If the organisation decides to use civic methods, which have failed, then I am stepping down but if we are to form a political party then I believe the current leadership would want to pursue our quest to have a democratic constitution."
Prof Madhuku, whose NCA subsisted on donor funds since the turn of the millennium, said the political party would be nationalist in nature and uphold Zimbabwe's national interests, ideals and ethos.
"We have said that we have nothing to do with the West and we respect the liberation struggle. Our party would be nationalist and pan-Africanist," he said
"We are not abandoning our agenda, that is of a new democratic constitution and we simply want to use other avenues through a structure like a political party," he said.
Analysts said Prof Madhuku's claim to nationalist ethos was born out of the realisation that politics of puppetry had cost the MDC-T which explains his recent attendance of national hero burials and pro-revolution utterances.
The NCA congress should have been held in 2011 but the organisation's national taskforce, the highest decision making body in between congresses, resolved that it be held after the referendum and national elections to allow the current leadership to lead the NO Vote campaign. The referendum was held in March this year and the Yes Vote prevailed while the harmonised elections were held on July 31 and were resoundingly won by Zanu-PF.
NCA spokesperson, Mr Blessing Vava, yesterday confirmed that Prof Madhuku would step down this Saturday.
"He (Prof Madhuku) is stepping down as the NCA chairman. He has served his two five year terms and constitutionally one cannot stand again in that position. It was supposed to be held in 2011 but we had no money, donors abandoned us and also there was a resolution to wait for the referendum before we change the leadership."
He said other leadership posts would also be contested.
Mr Vava said details on the decision to form a new political party would be disclosed during the Saturday congress.
"The congress is the highest decision making body in the institution and the discussions are on two folds," he said.
"There are some who are vying for posts since the current leadership has served the required time by the constitution. There is also a talk of others forming a political party and those issues will be brought up for discussion."
He said apart from leadership renewal, the congress would also "reflect on the organisation's mandate, the NO Vote campaign during the referendum, relations with the West, Government and civil society."
Sources, however, said with the referendum now a foregone issue, the discussion to form a political party would just be a formality as Prof Madhuku would still remain in the limelight.
"He is earmarked to become the new leader of the party, if the congress passes the resolution to launch a party," said the source.
"Members will be asked to suggest a name for the new party but there are some names which have been thrown in the hat so far. I can tell you that the new party will be launched in December this year and will welcome anyone who wishes to join, regardless of their previous political persuasion."