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'Zanu PF Amendments will lead another coup d'état' - some Professor, doesn't even know what led to 2017 coup

08 May 2021 at 07:23hrs | Views
For a University graduate much more a University Professor of a highly acclaimed institution like University of Oxford, UK; one would expect Arthur Mutambara to have common sense and thus say something that makes sense. Clearly that is too much to ask!
"What we are doing now will lead to another coup de tat. You know why? Because when the first one happened, Mugabe had these useless vice presidents, he was hiring and firing at will and one of them (Mnangagwa) left the country and engineered a coup d'état (in November 2017)," Mutambara told a Zoom audience.

He was commenting on the Constitutional Amendment Bill No 2 recently passed by both the Zimbabwe parliament and senate. The Bill, among other things, scraps the clause requiring the presidential candidates to have running mate(s); the elected State President will be allowed to appoint and fire VP(s) as he please. The Bill also allows the State President to extend the term of a serving Judge beyond the retirement age of 70 years by another 5 years if he so wished.

Amendment Bill No 1 scrapped the clause calling for senior Judges to appointed through public interview system; the State President will interview and appoint the Judges.
"What Mnangagwa is doing could lead to another coup d'état by somebody else because right now he is controlling succession. He is controlling everything and maybe some people may say the only answer is a coup de tat. If we are not careful these shenanigans will lead to another coup d'état," warned Mutambara.

What Mutambara is will make sense if the March 2013 Constitution he is so outraged to see being amended was a strong democratic constitution worth protecting. Mutambara and the other MDC leaders heralded it as "one of the best in the world", said Professor Welshman Ncube. "It is an MDC child!", chided Morgan Tsvangirai. The truth is the March 2013 Constitution is not even worth the paper it is written on and therefore all hoo-ha against the amendment bills is just hot air.

The new constitution failed its first litmus test; it failed to delivery free, fair and credible July 2013 elections - the ink on the new constitution had not even dried then!

Next the new constitution failed to stop the November 2017 military coup, as Mutambara readily admitted! High Court Judge, George Chiweshe said the November 2017 coup d'état was "legal, justified and constitutional!" Of course, this has set a dangerous precedence; the gene is out of the bottle and cannot be put back.

Zanu PF MP Paul Mangwana, Mugabe's man on the GNU parliamentary committee that drafted the new constitution, boasted that it was Mugabe who "dictated" the document. It is therefore not surprising that the March 2013 Constitution is all the dictatorial powers a dictator wants including power to amend it to consolidate his/her dictatorial powers.

By failing to deliver and guarantee free, fair and credible elections in 2013 and in future the March 2013 Constitution cum dictator's creed had in it the seed of the November 2017 military coup and, yes, there will certainly be more violent changes in future coups.

Change is part of nature and no mortal can stop change, the most mortals can do is delay change. Those who have delayed regime change by rigging elections have closed the door to peaceful and orderly change free and fair elections bring. The pressure for change will build up and sooner or later the dam wall will not be strong enough to hold it back.   

"They have butchered the Constitution. We are returning to a constitutionalised authoritarian regime. It is only the beginning of a process. By the time they are done with the amendments, the Constitution will not be recognised from the one adopted through a referendum," added UK-based University Law Lecturer and former Chief Advisor to Morgan Tsvangirai during the GNU, Dr Alex Magaisa.

"The whole aim of adopting the Constitution was to trim the powers of the President, but the amendment in both Bills No. 1 and No. 2 has given back the draconian rule by Zanu PF, aided by MDC-T and its leader (Douglas) Mwonzora who was one of the builders of the decapitation of the Constitution."

The March 2013 Constitution was supposed to take away Zanu PF's dictatorial powers including the carte blanche powers to rig elections. It did no such thing, that is precisely the point. Zanu PF went into the 2008 to 2013 GNU with its dictatorial powers and emerged at the end with all its dictatorial powers nicely disguised in the March 2013 Constitution and with not even one democratic reform in place.

Dr Magaisa as Tsvangirai's Chief Advisor should have advised Tsvangirai, MDC leaders and the nation at large to reject the March 2013 Constitution in the referendum because it is a dictator's creed. He advised them to do the exact opposite, accept it.
SADC leaders advised the MDC leaders not to participate in the 2013 elections without implementing some democratic reforms designed to stop Zanu PF rigging the elections. The SADC leaders realised immediately that the March 2013 Constitution was weak and feeble and will not deliver free, fair and credible elections.

By participating in flawed and illegal elections in 2013 and then again in 2018 the MDC and the rest in the opposition camp gave credibility to the flawed electoral process and, by extension, gave legitimacy to the vote rigging Zanu PF regime. Of course, as the legitimate Zimbabwe government Zanu PF has the power and authority to amend any part of the March 2013 Constitution.

Professor Mutambara and Dr Magaisa are suggesting that if Zimbabweans can stop Zanu PF amending the March 2013 Constitution then the country can expect to have a democratic Zimbabwe is a fallacy.

Zanu PF will rig elections to stay in power because the March 2013 Constitution gives the party dictatorial powers to do so. We not only foolishly approved that weak and feeble constitution but continue to defend it as the democratic constitution we want. By participating in flawed and illegal elections we have given the vote rigging Zanu PF regime legitimacy. And after giving Mnangagwa the dictatorial powers and a weak constitution to allow to do as he pleases we can, somehow, neither Mutambara nor Magaisa have said anything on the subject, still get him to behave like a democrat! Of course, the suggestion is idiotic!

What is the way forward? First, people must accept the reality that the March 2013 Constitution is a feeble and weak that will never deliver and guarantee our freedoms and rights including the right to free and fair elections and even the right to life. Accept the reality the 2008 to 2013 GNU failed to implement even one of the raft of democratic reforms agreed at the onset of the GNU.

It is self-defeating to pretend the GNU delivered the democratic changes the nation has been dying for when it did no such thing. Yes, the recent amendments to the March 2013 Constitution will give Zanu PF extra dictatorial powers; the emphasis is on extra, the feeble constitution has given him many dictatorial powers already. Our time and energy must be to dismantle the Zanu PF dictatorship and take away all the dictatorial powers not just to deny the dictator the extra dictatorial powers   
Second, the fight to end the Zanu PF dictatorship starts with the demand to implement all the democratic reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections. If no reforms are implemented before the next elections due in July 2023, just over two years away and so it is almost certain no reforms will be implemented now; Zimbabweans must not participate in the elections.

 After 41 years of rigged elections, it really is insane to keep participating in flawed and illegal elections and expecting to win "rigged" elections.
The Professor Mutambara and Dr Magaisa of this world will argue that Zimbabweans must participate in the coming elections, regardless of all the evidence that Zanu PF will rig the process, to stop the regime passing more March 2023 Constitutional Amendments. Of course, this is nonsense Zimbabweans participated in the 2013 and then in 2018 elections and that did not stop Zanu PF passing the two amendment Bills referred to above.

If people participate in the flawed elections and give Zanu PF legitimacy the regime will amend the constitutions if it so wished. We the people will only have ourselves to blame for our folly in having participated in the flawed elections and given the regime legitimacy for the umpteenth time!

Zanu PF as the party in government has the duty to ensure national elections are free, fair and credible; it owns this to every Zimbabwean as a birth right and not a favour. If the regime cannot implement the reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections, then the nation has the right to declare the elections null and void and find others who will deliver free, fair and credible election!

"If we are not careful these (Constitution) shenanigans will lead to another coup d'état!" Please spare us your foolishness, you can see into the future and yet even now you cannot say what shenanigans led to the November 2017 coup d'état? The November 2017 military coup was as certain as one tomorrow as long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state ruled by vote rigging thugs!

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