Wednesday, 19 October 2016

We get free election from strong constitution and not form "constitutionalism" nonsense. By P Guramatunhu

“It is false hope to think that anyone who takes over by any means under Zanu patronage will respect constitutional and supervise the demise of Zanu PF,” wrote Andrew M Manyevere. See Bulawayo 24 opinion “Zimbabwe free election not feasible except after transition government setting succeeded”

What people like Manyevere have failed to understand is that if Joice Mujuru or Morgan Tsvangirai were elected President (God forbid, knowing as we already do that the two are corrupt and incompetent), they too will establish a similar patronage system to secure their hold on power. The point is the constitution as it stands grants the State President sweeping dictatorial powers to appoint party loyalists who will put her/his selfish interests above public nation interest. Anyone who think Mujuru or Tsvangirai will not take advantage of these dictatorial powers then they are naïve!

People like Morgan Tsvangirai and Manyevere keep wittering about the need to re-align the existing electoral laws to the new constitution, this NERA business, as if that will deliver free and fair elections at long last. It is all nonsense because no re-alignment of the existing laws can take away the sweeping dictatorial powers the constitution has granted to the State President.

No law respectful of the constitution can make an already weak and feeble constitution strong.

Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends had the golden opportunity during the GNU to implement far reaching democratic reforms designed to dismantle the Zanu PF patronage system Manyevere is talking about and to draft a new democratic constitution. They failed to implement even one reform and to cover up for their failure presented the nation with weak and feeble constitution lying it will deliver free and fair elections.

By noon of the 31 July 2013 polling day Tsvangirai acknowledged to the world that the elections were rigged!

Instead of admitting MDC should have implemented the reforms and that the new constitution is weak and feeble Tsvangirai, his MDC friends and the more gullible members of the public have been hiding behind their fingers maintaining the new constitution is strong. All that is needed for free and fair elections is for someone to realignment of the existing laws to the new constitution. The last three years since the rigged July 2013 elections have been wasted chasing this NERA mirage!

Even Manyevere, without admitting it out right has acknowledge that NERA reforms will be inadequate.

“Only under the Transitional Government can we talk of transiting through to a free and fair election in Zimbabwe,” suggested Manyevere.
“The Police forces, the security forces and intelligence forces need reorientation from partisan demagogues to being a team of professionals who uphold the rule of law than take side with a regime to enforce corruption practices.” His first of four suggestions.

If he had been paying any before the GNU, during the GNU and after the GNU then he would have realized that security sector reforms were one of the key democratic reforms demanded throughout. He should be dismissing NERA reforms as a waste of time because no re-alignment of the law alone with no constitutional amendment will ever deliver the above security sector reforms!

It is disappointing that, even with the benefit of hindsight of the failed GNU, many articulate Zimbabweans like Andrew M Manyevere still allow themselves to be led by the nose by corrupt and incompetent leaders like Tsvangirai into believing NERA reform will deliver the democratic Zimbabwe we are all dying for.

Whilst the international community would like to help Zimbabwe out of this hell-on-earth President Mugabe has landed the nation; no one, especially SADC after the GNU debacle would help if we Zimbabweans cannot see something as glaring obvious as that the new constitution is rubbish. If Zimbabweans are foolish enough trying to make an unworkable constitution work, it is their choice but they must not expect others join in that folly!

Manyevere, it is utterly pointless to talk about what kind transition government we need when we cannot agree on what democratic reforms we want to implemented; especially when the last GNU was a waste of time. Tsvangirai and his MDC friends did not have a clue what reforms we wanted and even to this day they still have no clue. The last thing we want is another GNU led by village idiots looking for the proverbial black cat in a dark room that it not there!

The Zimbabwe constitution grants the State President dictatorial powers it is folly to then pray that he/she will never take advantage of those powers in the name of constitutionalism. If we do not want a dictator we must stop messing about and write a democratic constitution, as other nations have done, that will stop a would-be dictator dead in his tracks.


  1. @ Rodney

    agree with you there, Tsvangirai and Mujuru will still take part in the next elections even with not even one democratic reform in place. Zanu PF is smart to rig the elections but always offer some seats to the opposition and it is these they will be fighting over; they do not care whether elections are free and fair and the masses are short changed!

  2. Thousands of people have lost their lives in the fight for independence only for us to let Mugabe and his cronies deny us our freedom, human rights and dignity; that is what Jean is talking about. Nothing would please her more than seeing a just and prosperous Zimbabwe and she knows that will never happen as long as the majority of Zimbabweans out there are content telling the world they are being robbed but do little else!

  3. It was none other than Tendai Biti who came up with this "constitutionalism" nonsense! The idiot produced the weak and feeble constitution giving the individual freedoms and rights in the first part of the constitution and then giving the tyrant Mugabe sweeping dictatorial powers to take them all away in the second part. Then idiot then argues that the tyrant should confine his actions to the first part in the name of this new concept called constitutionalism.

    Needless to say it was Mugabe himself who had demanded the sweeping dictatorial powers in the second part and you can be sure he will not fail to use them!

    Tsvangirai and Mai Mujuru are corrupt and incomplete but should they be elected back into power they too will be looking at using the same sweeping dictatorial powers in the present constitution to consolidate their own hold on power.

    The 2013 Constitution was a bad job, the electorate voted to approve is one the basis of Tsvangirai and MDC's assurance that it would deliver free and fair elections. I know it failed to do so in 2013 and it will never do so even if we get the most democratic minded body a free hand to re-align the existing laws to the constitution.

    We should focus on implementing the reforms as agree in the 2008 GPA and then redraft the Constitution to confirm the new democratic system, which is exactly what MDC should have done during the GNU.

    1. We have some of the most corrupt and incompetent leaders on earth but to hear the likes of Biti you would think there are the cream of God's creation!

  4. MP Cross, Zimbabwe would not be in this mess if you and your MDC friends had implemented the democratic reforms during the GNU as you were expected to. You should ask your leader, Morgan Tsvangirai whether he still thinks the $4 million Highlands mansion he got for kicking reforms into the tall grass is worth the $1 billion a year the nation is losing through corruption?

    If there was a single trace of honour, chivalry and human decency in you Mr Cross then you would do the only decent thing for those whom time has proven to be corrupt and incompetent - resign. And you would be asking your fellow MDC traitors to do the same! We do not want you to remind us of the true cost of MDC's sell-out, we know that already and suffer the consequences of it everyday; what we dread is the prospect of you getting back into power so you can sell the nation again for thirty pieces of silver!

  5. Our failure to grasp issues has been one of greatest weakness. The constitution is an important document for any nation because it is the source of all the country's laws; get it right and the nation will enjoy peace, justice and prosperity. Get it wrong and there is no end to the nation's troubles!

    MDC repeatedly assured the people that the new constitution would deliver and guarantee all their freedoms and basic human rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections which was of immediate concern. President Mugabe was able to not just rig the elections but did so blatantly showing that the new constitution was weak and feeble and open to abuse.

    Indeed the new constitution gave the State President sweeping dictatorial powers which President Mugabe was not one to need an invitation to take full advantage of. There is nothing in the new constitution to stop the State President commandeering public assets and resources to further his own political interests. The billions of dollars looted from Marange help bankroll Zanu PF's vote rigging schemes and there is no clause in the new constitution to stop such abuse.

    If it was not clear before the July 2013 elections that the new constitution was weak the elections made that blindingly obvious. It was therefore shocking that even the corrupt and incompetent MDC leaders would want to waste time re-aligning existing laws to the new constitution as if the revised laws could have more powers than the supreme law on which they are based.

    Zimbabweans wasted time, resources and much sweat and blood but most important of all the golden opportunity to implement democratic reforms and to write a sound democratic constitution and set the foundation for good and accountable government for ourselves and posterity. We must now stop messing around trying to breathe new life into a still-birth constitution we know failed its first test.

    What we need now is to have the courage and vision to revisit the GPA reforms and implemented every one of them and draft a truly democratic constitution - there many, many other democratic constitutions out there to use as template.

    After 36 years of independence and still have no idea what it takes to have free, fair and credible elections!

  6. @ Choto

    This is a stupid argument only a stupid person like Tendai Biti would put forward.

    So let us start at the beginning. Would you, Choto, agree that no one is above the law and a good, strong democratic constitution will see to it that no one is above the law or provide loop holes which those so minded can exploit and place themselves above the law?

    Senator David Coltart in his book "The Struggle Continues" admits that the new constitution give Zimbabwe's State President "excessive powers without the usual democratic checks and balances". This is indeed the case as shown in Section 209 subsection (2) (a) where the President is granted carte blanche powers "to develop the national security policy for Zimbabwe" and as the Commander in Chief of all the country's security services to implement the said policy.

    So using the powers granted to him by section 209 subsection (2) (a) of the new constitution President Mugabe has identified many of the opposition party leaders and political critics as "regime change agents" and formulated his security policy to ensure there is no regime change in Zimbabwe. People have been denied their basic right to free, fair and credible elections because there was no way President Mugabe could grant that right and still stop regime change agents!

    Stopping regime change has been central to the ZRP's policing ethos in all matters that have or might have political ramifications. Police Commissioner, Augustine Chihuri, has admitted so himself and the public record speaks volumes of just how unashamedly pro-Zanu PF the Police is.

    The other State Institutions like ZEC and Judiciary have too played their role in fighting the regime change scourge!

    Even Tendai Biti would not argue that President Mugabe does not have the constitutional power to develop his regime change policy in this case. What is lacking here is a constitutional provision for parliament and/or the judiciary to scrutinized the policy and how it is implemented to ensure it is not abused. In this case it is blatantly obvious that no regime change policy was a subtle way to impose a de facto one-party state and deny the people the right to free, fair and credible elections.

    Biti's constitutionalism is a plea to Mugabe not to use the sweeping dictatorial powers given to him by the constitution allowing him to make Zimbabwe a de facto one-party state on the basis that the constitution says Zimbabwe is a multi-party democracy. Mugabe's reply is that Zimbabwe is a multi-party democracy that does not allow foreign sponsored regime change agents to contest elections.

    The stupidity of Tendai Biti and his MDC friends who drafted the new constitution was in granting the State President excessive powers with no democratic checks and balances in the hope the State President will resist the temptation to use the excessive powers. Tyrants are known for disregarding the law to get their wish and so being given excessive powers is a bonus they will never ever overlook!

    So it does not matter how you look at it, it is a pretty dumb thing to do giving a tyrant excessive powers in the hope that he/she will never use them in the name of some foolish notion of constitutionalism.

    There is no healthy and functional democracy out there with a weak and feeble constitution, it is naive to believe that Zimbabwe can be that first democratic nation. We should throw away the rubbish constitution MDC produced and draft a democratic one and stop wasting time tinkering with re-aligning existing laws as if the re-aligned laws will take away the excessive powers of the State President, etc.!

  7. @ Jean Gasho

    Well done Jean, this is one of the few articles I have read that has dared get to the heart and soul of why Zimbabwe is stuck in this mess - our knack to complain and never do anything of substance. You have nailed this weakness and called a spade a bloody shovel!

    There is no doubt that your criticism will draw a lot of fire from many quarters, that is to be expected given that Zimbabweans are a shortsighted lot who cannot distinguish constructive criticism from destructive criticism. These people are trying to hide their inferiority complex; we all make mistakes but because of their stupidity make many more mistakes than everyone else and worst of all they are paranoid about admitting to making mistakes.

    Stupid people do not have the luxury of admitting even to themselves that they have made a mistake, they are already in denial that they are stupid and so admitting to making a mistake in a hopeless attempt to silence the inner voice in each one of us. Conscience is a pretty stubborn gene, the harder one tries to silence it the more it nags and rub it in. In this case “Another mistake!” “Here we go again!” driving the stupid people up the wall!

    In pointing out these stupid people’s mistakes in your article, you are siding with their conscience and for once these stupid people have a human being they can direct their life-time anger and frustration at. But you should not have to worry because the little green troll will continue the fight. “Jean is right!” Defending the indefensible, even for a season idiot, is the hardest thing to do!

    Corruption in Zimbabwe has going on since independence, 36 years ago. We have complained about it and how it was holding back the nation’s economic growth but, other than that, have done nothing to end it. Today corruption has grown into this Tsunami wave that is destroying everything. President Mugabe admitted in February that $15 billion was being swindled in Marange, no nation on earth can sustain this level of corruption.

    #Wearebeingrobbed is a good idea but in the circumstance it is willfully inadequate, of that there can be no doubt! It is right and proper that someone has stepped up on the plate and told Zimbabweans that if they are serious about getting out of the economic hell we find ourselves in then we must do a lot more that exchange messages of how bad corruption has become! Thank you Jean for taking up the challenge!

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  9. @Zimbo Babe

    You have the right to say and do as you please but what you say or do on the public stage has a bearing on others. Corruption is a serious problem in Zimbabwe and the need to find a solution is a duty that we must all shoulder. If what you say or do is not helping the nation move forward, as it is clearly doing in this case, then it is the duty of those who can see how unhelpful your endless chattering has become to explain and then tell you to shut up.

    With rights comes responsibility and you cannot enjoy the one and forget the other!