Madhuku was critical of constitution making process from word go


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National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku was critical of the degree of civil involvement in the drafting of the new constitution from the signing of the Global Political Agreement on 15 September 2008 because the process was government dominated.

Madhuku warned that giving too much power to the Select Committee of Parliament might result in a constitution that would not be acceptable to the people as happened with the 1999 draft constitution which was rejected in a referendum in 2000.

The same had happened to the constitution drafted at Kariba in 2007. Though this constitution was drafted by members of the Movement for Democratic Change and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, it was never adopted.

“They just wrote it. Even within their parties there were no discussions,” he said.

Though it took longer than expected the new constitution was accepted at the national referendum and was signed into law by President Robert Mugabe yesterday.

Madhuku’s efforts to stop the referendum flopped and he has acknowledged that the NCA has no future now and will be turned into a political party.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08HARARE970, CIVIL SOCIETY WARNS OF FLAWED CONSTITUTIONAL

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

08HARARE970

2008-10-28 13:20

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO6657

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0970/01 3021320

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O 281320Z OCT 08

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3626

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2387

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2507

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1011

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1783

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2138

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2563

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4991

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1656

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000970

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B. WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR E. LOKEN AND L. DOBBINS

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: CIVIL SOCIETY WARNS OF FLAWED CONSTITUTIONAL

PROCESS

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) In an October 24 conversation with poloff, Lovemore

Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly

condemned the constitutional drafting and adoption process

laid out in the September 15 signed power-sharing agreement.

He charged that the intended constitutional process does not

allow for sufficient participation by civil society

organizations and ordinary Zimbabweans, and warned that

ZANU-PF has a constitutional history of pretending to engage

stakeholders, while ultimately drafting what meets their

needs. END SUMMARY.

 

——————–

Beware, Says Madhuku

——————–

 

2. (SBU) Lovemore Madhuku was highly critical of the degree

of civil society participation in the drafting of a new

constitution, as stipulated in the September 15 power-sharing

agreement He said that the proposed process is government

dominated. Specifically, the “Select Committee o

Parliament” responsible for creating subcommittes, holding

public hearings, convening a stakehoder conference, and

drafting the document, will nt include civil society

members. Civil society ill only be represented through the

subcommittee, where they will be chosen by parliamentarians.

 

 

3. (SBU) According to the schedule agreed upon by ZANU-PF

and the MDC, following the stakeholder conference and before

the draft constitution is put to a national referendum, the

draft will be debated in Parliament. Madhuku warned that

during this debate, the draft is certain to be amended. He

cited the 1999 constitutional drafting process as an example

of ZANU-PF-led duplicity. Responding to calls for

constitutional reform, President Mugabe appointed a

constitutional committee in 1999 to produce a draft. That

committee consisted of 400 commissioners, nearly all of whom

were handpicked by Mugabe and were members or supporters of

ZANU-PF. According to Madhuku, the committee completely

changed the context of the goals of constitutional reform and

produced a draft that sought to strengthen the presidency.

(NOTE: To the surprise of Mugabe and ZANU-PF, that

constitution was rejected in a nationwide referendum, as

voters revealed their waning confidence in government. END

NOTE.)

 

4. (SBU) Madhuku also cited the draft constitution produced

in Kariba on September 20, 2007 as additional evidence of the

lack of civil society or public involvement. The Kariba

draft constitution was coauthored by four MDC and ZANU-PF

representatives as part of the negotiations leading up to the

harmonized presidential and parliamentary elections last

March. According to Madhuku, the draft was written without

any external input. “They just wrote it. Even within their

parties there were no discussions.” Madhuku now expects that

any new constitution would use the Kariba draft as a baseline

document. Indeed, the Kariba draft was cited in the

power-sharing agreement and attached as an appendix.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

5. (SBU) Madhuku, who represents the feeling of many civil

society leaders and activists, has long been a critic of

 

HARARE 00000970 002 OF 002

 

 

ZANU-PF. More recently he has been frustrated by what he

feels is insufficient involvement of civil society by the

MDC. This is driving his call for public demonstrations as

an alternative means of effecting the constitutional process.

END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

 

(92 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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