Southern Africa: MDC Partners Plagiarised SA Constitution

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THE MDC Alliance has been exposed for lack of originality after it copied word for word, full stop for full stop, a section of the South African Constitution in its election manifesto released last week. The alliance of seven political parties, which is led by Mr Nelson Chamisa, an advocate at law and boasting several other lawyers in its fold, plagiarised Section 2.11 of the South African Constitution, which it presented in its manifesto as Chapter 10.

The Section in the MDC Alliance manifesto is headed "Public Administration".

In the South African Constitution, it is under Section 2.11 "Reform of State Owned Enterprises".

Below is Section 2.11 of the South African Constitution, copied by the MDC Alliance.

REFORM OF STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES

The country suffers under the weight of state enterprises that have largely become feeding troughs for the ruling elite.

Rationalising state enterprises will thus be key. Many of these enterprises will be wound up or disposed of.

Those that remain will be governed in their operations by a new and enhanced Public Entities Corporate Governance Act which will be based on the principles which include that:

i. A high standard of professional ethics must be promoted and maintained.

ii. Efficient and economic use of resources must be promoted.

iii. Public administration must be development-oriented.

iv. Service must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias.

v. People's needs must be responded to within a reasonable time, and the public must be encouraged to participate in policy making.

vi. Public administration must be accountable to Parliament and to the people.

vii. Institutions and agencies of government at all levels must co-operate with each other (joined-up government).

viii. Transparency must be fostered by providing the public with timely, accessible and accurate information.

ix. Good human resource management and career development practices, to maximise human potential, must be cultivated.

x. Public administration must be broadly representative of the diverse communities in Zimbabwe.

The MDC Alliance manifesto Section 101, Chapter 10

Public Administration

Basic values and principles governing public administration 195.

(1) Public administration must be governed by the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution, including the following principles:

(a) A high standard of professional ethics must be promoted and maintained.

(b) Efficient, economic and effective use of resources must be promoted.

(c) Public administration must be development-oriented.

(d) Services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias.

(e) People's needs must be responded to, and the public must be encouraged to participate in policy-making.

(f) Public administration must be accountable.

(g) Transparency must be fostered by providing the public with timely, accessible and accurate information.

(h) Good human-resource management and career-development practices, to maximise human potential, must be cultivated.

(i) Public administration must be broadly representative of the South African people, with employment and personnel management practices based on ability, objectivity, fairness, and the need to redress the imbalances of the past to achieve broad representation.

Countless efforts to get a comment from MDC Alliance spokesman Professor Welshman Ncube were fruitless yesterday but MDC-T deputy spokeswoman Ms Thabitha Khumalo said there was nothing wrong in admiring and plagiarising the South African Constitution, calling it a cross-pollination of ideas.

Ms Khumalo, however, said she was yet to read the MDC Alliance manifesto.

"I have not had the opportunity of reading it through at the moment but I do not think there is anything wrong about that. We need to use benchmarks. I do not think that is a bad idea. We learn from other people. When we do a manifesto we need to consult far and wide," she said.

Ms Khumalo claimed Zimbabwe was a unique country.

"We are a unique country. We break all records. We have to find solutions on how other countries have done it and cross pollinate. Is that wrong to share notes?"

Several efforts to get a comment from MDC Alliance spokesperson Professor Welshman Ncube were fruitless yesterday but MDC-T deputy spokesperson Ms Tabitha Khumalo said there was nothing wrong in admiring and plagiarising the South African Constitution calling it cross-pollination of ideas.

Ms Khulamo, however, said she was yet read the MDC Alliance manifesto.

"I have not had the opportunity of reading it through out at the moment but I do not think there is anything wrong about that. We need to use benchmarks. I do not think that is bad idea. We learn from other people. When we do manifesto we need to consult far and wide," she said.

Ms Khumalo claimed Zimbabwe was a unique country.

"We are unique country. We break all records. We have to find solutions on how other countries have done it and cross pollinate. Is that wrong to share notes?"

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