Madhuku Hits Out At Civic Society Groups

HARARE – The chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) Lovemore Madhuku has criticised civic society groups for pandering to the whims of political parties, accusing them of blindly following the government's constitutional making process

The NCA has rejected a government’s constitutional making process currently underway, saying it does not include the people. The process is being spearheaded by parliament.

“Civic society must be separate from the political parties," said Madhuku at a debate with the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Eric Matinenga at the journalists’ drinking hole at Quill Club in the Capital.

"If the job of the civic society is to simply pander to political party interests then that’s wrong," said Madhuku. “ I don’t believe civic groups should just blindly follow the constitutional making process, it’s not people driven it’s a political party driven process."

Madhuku said even the inclusion of his own organisation’s constitutional draft of 2000 will not change their stance.

In 2000 NCA successfully campaigned against a constitution drafted by government which was rejected at a referendum.

“It is a very good thing to include the NCA draft but the NCA is not there to give a constitution to Zimbabweans , it is there to push for a process which allows Zimbabweans  to write their own constitution."

“Even if you can give us our own draft we will reject it, that is not the whole purpose, we want the opportunity that’s why we are about process.“

“We are not about opportunities or window to write a constitution, let’s get a proper opportunity to write a constitution for our country and that’s what we stand for and we will not be persuaded at all that there is anything called a window in this process, it is a defective one and we will not support it," said Madhuku.

“A truly independent body along the lines of South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) should be set up and it should be detached from the influence politicians. That should be the starting point."

Madhuku further stated that even if he was to be asked to chair the parliamentary process, he will not accept it.