By Blessing Vava
Last week South African president Jacob Zuma, the SADC appointed facilitator in the GPA, dispatched his facilitation team to among other issues, break the so-called impasse in the constitution making process.
But, specific to the issue of the constitution, the so-called deadlock is as a result of ZANU PF’s sponsored amendments to the COPAC daft. This is despite the fact that its pool of negotiators appended their signatures on the 18th of July draft produced by COPAC.
The COPAC final daft is a product of the management committee who also happen to be negotiators in Zimbabwe’s unending negotiations in the GPA.
Interestingly, when the management committee members appended their signatures and handed over the document to their principals, what that meant was that their role had now been completed and it was now up to the principals to discuss and agree on the final document. In the same way the Kariba draft, and the GPA, were done, after the signatures of the negotiators it goes to the principals.
As of now I do not believe that there is yet a deadlock to talk about until principals meet to discuss the document. The principals are the ones who assigned these negotiators and logically if you are sent with a message by your superior you have to relay back the message. That is what the management committee did.
They came up with that document and handed it over to the principals meaning that it was now left to their principals to decide. However this GNU has set a bad precedence. After a deadlock between negotiators, the principals come in. This has been the game in town.
Three individuals now have the power to decide on the contents of a constitution which is to govern more than 14 million Zimbabweans. This has been a bad process from the start and sadly the country lost considerable time and resources to a process which is now seemingly a mere circus.
They failed even to honour up to what they agreed in the GPA, and what guarantee do we as Zimbabweans have that they will respect the constitution they are writing should it be accepted in a referendum?
That has been the tragedy of allowing politicians to write a constitution. They will never do it in earnest, it is all about their power that is why no one is questioning the blotting of the National Assembly (Parliament) for example at a time many Zimbabweans have been complaining about a large government.
And talking about MPs, I was left dump-founded after reading media reports alleging that Members of Parliament are demanding more money which they allege were their dues from COPAC, a complete fraud and scandal which should never be entertained.
First and foremost the MPs should understand that the cars they were leasing and even driving during the outreach process were bought using tax payers money through the treasury and none of them paid a single cent for their purchase.
To have such cars is a mere privilege and not a right our ignorant members of parliament should be reminded.
Their level of greediness is shocking and utterly disgusting. This only shows that they participated in the COPAC process to make money and nothing else. With the high allowances they were getting everyday and hotel accommodation, its sheer extravagance.
Some of the MPs even abandoned their families to stay with their girlfriends in hotels despite some of them residing less than a 5km drive from the hotel. This is despite the fact that many Zimbabweans are earning salaries that hardly allow them to afford descent accommodation and transport fares to their work places. Under such circumstances, legislators should consider themselves fortunate to own cars.
Clearly the notion of being servants of the people is now alien it now appears that the people are now the servants of these politicians whose alarming rate of resource and wealth accumulation deserves a chapter in the Guinness Book of Records.
Surely the 45million spent by COPAC was money wasted luxuriously by politicians and their cronies and no one else. And as we move forward COPAC should be forced to account in detail for every cent used since the process started. These were resources sourced under the guise of writing a constitution for the country and as such they should be audited and the results be made public.
We would want to know how much they used for their allowances, their hotel bills, and mark my words it won’t be surprising that much of the money was for allowances and hotel accommodation.
That being said, it is high time that the process being concluded to pave way for a referendum so that the people of Zimbabwe be given a chance to finally participate in rejecting the COPAC daft which they did not input. We are tired of this political posturing; Zimbabweans should now demand a referendum. Politicians, for far too long have been taking Zimbabweans for a ride.
Blessing Vava is a blogger from Chipinge. He can be contacted on [email protected]