By Jonathan Moyo
If the truth is to be told in the national interest without fear or favour about the incomplete draft constitution which the Copac mafia claims to have completed before submitting it to its management committee last week, it is that the draft is a fraud produced by a fraudulent constitution-making process whose ill-fated purpose has been to cheat the people of Zimbabwe into the abyss of regime change assisted by the pursuit of negative succession politics under the convenient but utterly false cover of constitutionalism.
It is very mischievous and objectionable in the extreme that the UNDP and its regime-change-seeking donors along with their international and local partners have through the Copac mafia deceitfully and fraudulently transformed what was supposed to be a people-driven constitution-making process in terms of the GPA into an unacceptable and treacherous “GPA 2” negotiation for the control and exercise of political power beyond the Inclusive Government by the three ruling GPA parties who currently make up Parliament.
Surely this is an unacceptable outrage. There’s a difference of day and night between negotiating to share political power among political parties and to make a new constitution for the whole country and for posterity. While the GPA was okay for forming a coalition government, it is definitely not okay for making a constitution.
And while Zimbabwe’s nationalist movement through the Patriotic Front representing Zanu and Zapu had little choice but to negotiate the independence constitution in 1980 — which was a give-and-take proposition — there is absolutely no reason why the fundamental law of our land should 32 years after independence be subjected to negotiations between the independence forces and sell-out parties clearly and indisputably fronted by Zimbabwe’s erstwhile colonisers.
Against this backdrop, it is as oxymoronic as it is telling about its delinquency that the Copac mafia has no qualms about claiming to the nation that it has completed its work by submitting an incomplete draft constitution. Even George Orwell would have found it amusing that incomplete work can be a product of a completed task.
This oxymoron aside, and notwithstanding the blatant lies coming from the Copac mafia, the compelling truth which cannot be assailed on the basis of third-party cross verification is that the Copac constitution-making process has turned out to be fraudulent such that the Copac draft constitution is indeed a fraud that should not be accepted by Zimbabweans as the fundamental law of the land of King Lobengula and Mbuya Nehanda.
Reading through the controversial cut-and-paste draft which is now readily available and is widely circulating through some sections of the social media, the following five irretrievably problematic issues stick out like the horns of a kudu:
The views of the people gathered during the Copac outreach programme are conspicuous by their absence from the draft with the consequence that the Copac process has cheated the people in such a fraudulent way as to render the Copac draft constitution a huge fraud that does not deserve to be taken to a referendum as that would add salt to the injury that the people have already suffered and would thus be an insult to the people.
Equally absent from the draft is the usual stamp of parliamentary dignity and input that characterises all parliamentary processes and yet Copac is supposed to be a select committee of Parliament. This fatality is made worse by the fact that the draft, which has very little chance, if any, of going to a referendum given its catastrophic defects, also does not have much chance of being taken for debate in Parliament as that would violate the rights of some 29 or so constituencies — about 20 percent of the lot — that are not represented and would thus have no voice over a crucially fundamental matter such as the proposed Copac constitution.
While some misfits of society might want to explain away and justify the betrayal of the views of the people and the marginalisation of Parliament by Copac made worse by the fact that the current composition of Parliament itself is not sufficiently representative of all the 210 constituencies with some 29 of them crying out for by-elections, it is hard to see how anyone would justify the indefensible, reprehensible and unacceptable fact that the Copac draft that was submitted to Copac’s management committee last week and which is now widely circulating was not read or approved clause-by-clause by the Parliamentary Select Committee which is supposed to have produced it because the Copac mafia has substituted itself for the Select Committee as a decision-making “forum” when the GPA and the Copac terms of reference announced in Parliament in April 2009 do not have such a forum.
While the Copac mafia has claimed that only two or three issues remain “parked” , the draft itself is in fact so littered with a plethora of parked or unresolved clauses throughout the text as to render the claim deceitful and this bad thing is made worse by the fact that issues like dual citizenship and devolution which are said to be “parked” in chapters 3 and 5 respectively are in fact not parked in the founding chapters of the draft, thereby making fraudulent the claim by the Copac mafia that issues like devolution and citizenship are parked given that what is parked are only some aspects of these issues and not the issues themselves;
Although the Copac mafia claims that its draft released last week is based on 26 constitutional principles taken from the views of the people, the glaring fact is that it is based on a deceitful attempt to address under an undeclared GPA 2 the so-called outstanding GPA issues all of which are political and none of which is either a constitutional principle or a view of the people; all of which are personalised around President Robert Mugabe, RBZ Governor Gideon Gono, Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, Commander of the Defence Forces Constantine Chiwenga and Commissioner General of Police Augustine Chihuri to name but only a few examples, and all of which reflect the foreign advice given to Copac by South Africa’s Hassen Ebrahim under the treacherous auspices of the UNDP to the detriment of our national security and existence.
Let us examine further each of the above five considerations one by one starting with the last one going up.
It is now common cause and therefore rationally undeniable that the Copac draft constitution released to the management committee last week without the clause-by-clause endorsement of the Parliamentary Committee does not reflect the views of the people as gathered during the Copac outreach programme but reflects the UNDP view of regime-change donors as drafted by President Jacob Zuma’s Sadc mediation point man in Zimbabwe called Hassen Ebrahim whose paid task has been to produce a constitution-making framework used by Copac designed to defy the people’s views.
The verbatim narration of Ebrahim’s framework was reproduced in this newspaper last Sunday and it speaks for itself in ways that have put to shame the foolish claims of the Copac mafia that its constitution-making process is about “ensuring a people-driven constitution-making process” given that on the ground Copac has indeed employed a UNDP-driven constitution-making exercise authored by Hassen Ebrahim whose purpose has been to drive out and sabotage the people’s views from the making of their own constitution.
While the real and full story of the UNDP’s dirty involvement in the Copac constitution- making process is yet to be told, the Copac mafia and their donors through the UNDP have become so desperate in their constitution-making fraud that they are now offering US$200 per article to anyone who is prepared to write articles supporting the Copac fraud while discrediting critics of the Copac process.
But this is a digression better told in full another time. For now the point that cannot be technically disputed because the cat is out of the bag is that the Copac draft constitution now in circulation is not a product of the views of the people of Zimbabwe but a product of the views of regime-change donors who imposed evil sanctions against Zimbabwe and these views have come from South Africa’s Hassen Ebrahim through the UNDP. Ebrahim’s consultancy report on this matter says “the document [on Copac’s framework] has gone through several iterations with the kind assistance and benefit of exchanges with the UNDP [not with Copac but with the UNDP] in Zimbabwe”.
On page 7 of his UNDP Copac framework, Ebrahim wrote the following treacherous submission which explains why Copac dumped the views of the people last year before the drafting process commenced:
“There is often some confusion as to the nature of the relationships between the role-players, and stakeholders and the drafters. In many instances, especially where there is a strong civil society presence, there is a demand that they be allowed to directly influence the drafting process. It is therefore necessary that there be a clear distinction drawn between role-players and stakeholders and their respective relationships to the drafters.
Role-players are policy decision makers and responsible for the political agreements reached.
Stakeholders are those entities that are consulted in the process. Whilst role-players are usually the political parties, stakeholders are generally civil society structures. The general rule has been that whilst political parties are required to give the leadership and make political decisions required, they should do so after consulting with civil society. This would therefore mean that there is no direct relationship between civil society and the drafters.
There are two types of consultation. In the case of role-players and negotiating partners, agreements are reached in consultation with them [meaning the consultation is binding]. However, in the case of stakeholders, the decisions are taken after they have been consulted by the decision makers or role-players [meaning the consultation of the people can be ignored as has indeed happened with the Copac outreach views]”.
What this means is that by relying on the so-called two types of consultation found in the GPA and which are based on the difference in the meaning between ”in consultation with” and “after consultation with”; and by endorsing Hassen Ebrahim’s telling submission reproduced by this newspaper last Sunday, the UNDP has been funding Copac to exclusively rely on a constitution-drafting framework that is not only hostile to the views of the people of Zimbabwe on the kind of constitution they want but to also ensure that the Copac drafting process is not guided by those views in any binding manner in favour of the views of the GPA political parties that are taken as binding through negotiations within the mafia-like forums of the Copac co-chairs and the Copac management committee.
It is clear from reading the UNDP’s briefing to the Copac mafia prepared by South Africa’s Hassen Ebrahim that the so-called two types of consultation found in the GPA and based on the difference in the meaning between “in consultation with” and “after consultation with”, is in fact the conceptual reason why Copac dumped the views of the people during the drafting process because according to Ebrahim’s treacherous logic supported by the UNDP and adopted by the Copac mafia without the approval of the Parliamentary Select Committee, there should be “no direct relationship between civil society [Ebrahim’s code word for the people] and the drafters”.
This is because according to the UNDP through Hassen Ebrahim’s treacherous submission, civil society [meaning the people] cannot carry the same weight as the political negotiators. The reason is that whereas political parties carry the mandate of their members/electorate, civil society are [sic] unelected and focus on a limited set of interests in society e.g. women, workers, academics, youth, farmers, business, etc”.
Justifying the exclusion of the views of the people of Zimbabwe from the Copac draft constitution, Ebrahim wrote last September in his treacherous UNDP/Copac document, which is one out of several documents he authored, that has been used as the framework of the Copac draft constitution that “constitutional negotiations, like political negotiations, are about power.
Not all political parties are equal either . . . Negotiations are also not about voting. It is about finding compromises. In a negotiation, everyone has to give up something and everyone has to gain something. The ideal result is a win-win solution where everyone believes that they have gained”.
What this means is that the Copac process has been deceitfully and fraudulently turned into treacherous GPA 2 negotiations for “political power” when it was supposed to be a people-driven constitution-making process to enshrine the rights and obligations of Zimbabweans and to define the unique essence and aspirations of their country.
The foregoing not only explains why the Copac mafia excluded the views of the people in the drafting process but also proves that the Copac draft constitution released last week and now circulating in the social media is a fraud because the people were deceived by Copac into believing that their views would be binding in the drafting of Copac’s draft constitution but that has not happened.
As part of his treacherous and meddlesome enterprise, and hiding under a spurious distinction between constitution-making and constitution-drafting, South Africa’s and the UNDP’s Ebrahim got the Copac mafia which has taken the constitution-making exercise as a GPA 2 negotiation process to misinterpret its work as some kind of “political problem- solving” opportunity to address all the allegedly outstanding issues of the GPA. This is why even the MDC T’s Nelson Chamisa has said any constitution coming out of the Copac process will be transitional and thus temporary.
It is no wonder then that the Copac draft released last week is a shameless attempt to deal with outstanding GPA issues disguised under 26 false constitutional principles not based on the views of the people when a constitution should be above such politics of the day.
For example the first clause of chapter one simply says “Zimbabwe is a sovereign republic” and fails to include the fundamental fact that it is a unitary state and that failure is deliberate in order to accommodate if not smuggle unacceptable previously federalist agendas that are of opportunistic interest to some GPA political parties under the false guise of devolution now being used to negotiate a GPA 2 dispensation under the pretext of constitution-making.
There’s also the glaring fact that the Copac draft has permeated what can be called “Mugabe clauses “ that are not only targeting President Mugabe as an individual but that are also focussing on the Office of the President to strip it of the essential executive powers which the draft scandalously distributes to national, provincial and local legislatures and to the so-called independent commissions among other bodies thereby contradicting the deceitful and fraudulent claim in Copac’s draft that executive authority vests with the President and Cabinet when the rest of the draft makes contrary provisions.
Then there are other personalised provisions which smack of “Chiwenga clauses” and “Chihuri clauses” dealing with the so-called security sector reform whose nefarious agenda, about which of late there has been notable strategic silence from the usual suspects, has found expression in the treacherous Copac draft constitution. There are also the “Tomana clauses” and the “Gono clauses” all clearly emanating from the so-called outstanding issues of the GPA and exacting an unacceptable price on a constitution that should be for all Zimbabweans across generations and for all times.
The deceit and fraud of the Copac mafia is so glaring in the draft released last week that even the lie that issues like devolution and citizenship are “parked” for the attention of Copac’s management committee is exposed. For example, it is not true that the draft prepared by Copac’s co-chairs has “parked” the issue of devolution.
No. This is because, among other considerations too many to list here, one of the founding principles of the Copac draft constitution spelt out in chapter one which deals with founding provisions under clause 1(2)(k) is that “the principles of good governance, which bind all institutions of the state at all levels, include. . . the devolution of governmental power and functions to provinces and other appropriate levels” and yet there’s no definition of what devolution means in chapter one as opposed to what it might mean should it be unparked, if ever, by Copac’s management committee in chapter five. In fact chapters one to four in particular provide a barrage of direct and indirect references to devolution as a done deal and yet we are told that it is parked. If this is not deceit and fraud then nothing is.
The same goes for citizenship which the Copac mafia has said is parked with respect to dual citizenship. But if you are guided by the presumption that citizenship is about the rights and obligations of those who belong to the homeland or territory, then the claim by the Copac mafia that dual citizenship — which is covered under chapter 3 of the draft — is parked for resolution by its management committee is false because chapter 4 of the draft dealing with the declaration of rights does not respect anything about citizenship of any kind since virtually all of its important clauses refer to the rights of “everyone” as opposed to the rights of “Zimbabwean citizens”.
It should be obvious even to the Copac mafia that citizenship, whether mono or dual, is of no use if it does not come with exclusive rights that are not available to non-citizens. So who is the everyone that is mentioned in the Copac draft constitution in the declaration of rights? Is it the mafia in Italy? The terrorists in Somalia? The BBC? Sky TV? CNN? SABC? Europeans? Americans? Rhodesians? Or “everyone” means Zimbabweans? Which is which?
On a related matter, it is clear from reading the Copac draft that it is intended to delegitimise everything Zimbabwean since our heroic independence in 1980 in the treacherous hope of creating a new country for “everyone” with no citizens. This is why the draft’s seventh schedule seeks to wipe out our electoral history by not only taking away President Mugabe’s power to call for the next general election due this year but also by describing that election, which would be Zimbabwe’s eighth since independence as “the first elections” to produce “the first president”, “the first parliament” and “the first judiciary” and the first everything so to speak.
Surely this is absolute garbage not deserving of national attention given the heroic history of this country’s independence which Zimbabweans cherish dearly.
What makes all this sad is that Copac would have gotten its purpose and mission right if it had remained honest to its public relations motto of “ensuring a people-driven constitution” and if it had worked within the parameters of a Select Committee of Parliament. It is sad that the draft that was sent to the management committee is a product of Copac’s co-chairs and their drifting drafters and has not been endorsed by the Select Committee which has not gotten the opportunity to read the draft clause-by-clause yet that is exactly its job.
But, alas, as things stand we have here a mafia-like outfit which has proceeded in a fraudulent manner and which has produced a fraud of a draft constitution based on inconclusive GPA 2 negotiations for political power beyond the Inclusive Government which are themselves fraudulent when the process should have been based on the conclusive views of the people. Those views should have been published in a national report which the Copac mafia has fraudulently kept secret to this day to justify its deceit and fraud against the people.
It boggles the mind why an organically fraudulent draft constitution should be subjected to a referendum without insulting the people who obviously know and deserve better.
Professor Jonathan Moyo is the Zanu PF MP for Tsholotsho North and a serial political flip flopper in Zimbabwe.