The leader of the International Socialist Organisation in Zimbabwe (ISOZ), Munyaradzi Gwisai, has said that the new constitution should be rejected in the referendum. This article, calling on Zimbabweans to vote 'no' was published on NewZimbabwe on the 16 February.
University lecturer and political activist, Munyaradzi Gwisai has said Zimbabweans should reject the new constitution, dismissing the document as deeply flawed and essentially a “peace pact” between parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
In a statement last week, Gwisai, who heads the International Socialist Organisation in Zimbabwe (ISOZ), dismissed the draft new constitution as “a negotiated and elitist peace charter by the three parliamentary political parties (Zanu PF, MDC-T, MDC) and their Western backers.”
“The people have demanded a constitution written by themselves in a democratic, participatory and gender-youth-disability balanced way. A constitution that ends the imperial executive presidency and guarantees democratic and accountable political governance and bread and butter socio economic rights,” he said.
“(But) in an era where 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI resigns citing advanced age, the COPAC draft allows an 89-year-old President Robert Mugabe to potentially rule for another 10 years, until he is 99! It (also) fails to address fundamental issues of severe poverty, gender and social inequality, economic democratisation and full political democracy.”
The constitution has since been endorsed by Parliament and is due to be put to a national referendum on the 16th of next month, leading to elections to choose a substantive government later in the year.
The process had appeared to stall over disagreements between the GPA parties until Mugabe and MDC rivals, Morgan Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube and Arthur Mutambara intervened and agreed a deal over various sticking issues last month.
Gwisai however said the document should be rejected claiming it retains an “imperial Presidency” among a host of other issues the ISOZ leader said were objectionable.
“The COPAC draft leaves substantially intact the iron fist of the executive imperial presidency to be used by the ruling classes to smash revolts from below as the crisis of capitalism locally and internationally worsens,” the statement added.
“To please Western capitalist masters, the COPAC draft has scandalously omitted the peoples’ rights of economic empowerment, indigenisation and nationalisation of strategic resources, under workers’ and communities’ democratic control.