The MDC not derailing the Constitution making process – A reply to Qhubani Moyo
By Douglas Mwonzora
In his article published in The Zimbabwe Independent of Friday, 06 January 2012 Mr. Qhubani Moyo Organising Secretary in Welshman Ncube’s party raises a number of issues worth reacting to.
These include the accusation that the delays in the Constitution making process have been caused by the MDC and Zanu PF, that some people seconded to lead Copac are unsuitable and that the publication of the national report is being suppressed and that the only suitable leader at Copac is Edward Mkhosi who is from the party Moyo belongs to.
The only factually correct issue raised in that article is that Mkhosi is a mature man. In fact, some of us who have worked with this wonderful man regard him as one of the best peace keepers on the land. That he deserves to be in the leadership of this important process should never be doubted. Unlike most of his colleagues in his party, Mkhosi has never fronted for Zanu PF in attacking the MDC unfairly.
It is clear that the Constitution making process has been delayed. The causes of the delays are well-known. Specifically, the party responsible for the delay has never been the MDC. It is therefore, important to go into the dry facts.
The first major programme in this process was the holding of the First All Stakeholders’ Conference held in Harare in the middle of 2009. Mr. Moyo was present on this occasion. Zanu PF Members of Parliament led by Hon. Patrick Zhuwao and Saviour Kasukuwere led the disruptions of this conference on the first day.
It had to take the intervention of the three principals in the inclusive government to stop these disruptions. The MDC had nothing to do with the barbarism displayed by Zanu PF on that day and the resultant delay.
The second major programme was that of the outreach meetings. These meetings were marred by politically motivated violence in some provinces. This violence was perpetrated by Zanu PF supporters. Most of the meetings had to be rescheduled by Copac in order to give the people in the affected areas a chance to air their views on the new Constitution.
In Harare thousands of Zanu PF militia bussed from outside the capital led brutal attacks on members of the public in Mabvuku, Chitungwiza, Dzivaresekwa and Mbare culminating in the death of MDC Youth Assembly member, Chrispen Mandizvidza at Mai Musodzi Hall in Mbare.
The Management Committee had to intervene and ordered the process to be redone. All right thinking people saw that the people who led to this sad development were Zanu PF.
The third major programme was the uploading of the outreach data. The data that had been gathered included views gathered from outreach, views from the Diaspora, institutional submissions, views from children and the views of the people living with disabilities.
When I was released from prison I discovered that Zanu PF had somehow succeeded in excluding the views from the Diaspora and institutional submissions from the national data. The MDC demanded that the uploading of data be redone in order to include these excluded views.
The proper people to blame are therefore not from the MDC but those who had sought to suppress the views of some sections of our society in the first place. It would have been irresponsible for the MDC to accede to a report that had such fatal omissions.
When it came to the analysis of data in may 2011, Zanu PF insisted on the quantitative approach while the MDC and Welshman Ncube’s formation correctly insisted on the qualitative approach as resolved by the Management Committee meeting of the 4th of April 2011.
The disagreement inevitably caused delays. Even when an agreement had been ironed out and signed by the Copac chairpersons on the 12th of May, Zanu PF still refused to honour the agreement with some members making such outrageous statements as that its Copac chairpersons had been fed on alcohol to accede to MDC demands.
Somehow of course Mr. Moyo would find the MDC to blame!
The issue relating to whether the Select Committee had to use the quantitative or the qualitative approach took more than two months to resolve. The MDC’s principal argument was that the process was characterised by massive intimidation and the use of a purely quantitative approach was undesirable. Subsequent events would show that the MDC was correct.
It is important to note that the national report is not yet ready. What is ready is the national statistical report that does not have explanations on what certain figures really mean. The Select Committee resolved that the national statistical report would be accompanied by narratives and other documents for it to be a national report.
The Committee then specifically resolved not to publish an incomplete national report. In December 2011, some Zanu PF elements published what they termed a national report in The Herald. This report did not have any narratives accompanying the figures.
It did not include the views from the Diaspora, children, people living with disabilities and views from Zimbabwean institutions. The MDC then vehemently protested against this fraudulent misrepresentation of facts to Zimbabweans.
Rightly it went public to condemn the so called national report. Probably Mr. Moyo wanted the MDC to keep quite while the nation was being misled.
In December 2011, the Zanu PF sought to unilaterally stop the drafting process when it felt that the drafts did not favour its entrenched positions.
The MDC found this totally unacceptable and it did not hide its opposition to this unilateralism. There were attempts by some sections in Zanu PF who even wanted to call for the ouster of some of the drafters. The MDC totally rejected and resisted these sordid manoeuvres.
Only recently, a group of Zanu PF supporters led by the so-called war veterans disrupted a Copac meeting in Nyanga in a bid to force the drafters to abandon the drafting process. Zanu PF is still dreaming of reverting to the Kariba Draft Constitution if the current draft is thrown away, a thing that would never happen.
Sadly Mr. Moyo sees nothing good about what the MDC has done in trying to stop Zanu PF from hijacking the process.
The temptation that Mr. Moyo is getting into is to try to blame everyone who is not from his party while glorifying everyone who is from his party. Such behaviour is common with political parties and Zimbabweans must not take his accusation seriously. There is always a tendency by political parties to portray themselves as a source of reason even though they may not be.
Again this is natural.
The history of Copac must never be falsified on the basis of political convenience. Instead of firing un-researched diatribes at other political forces, Mr. Moyo as an organizing secretary must concentrate on recruiting members for his political party.
He must have the ability to analyse political facts not from a laptop but from the actual field of political play.
Douglas Mwonzora is the MDC (Tsvangirai) National Spokesperson and Copac Chairperson
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