Would you eat an orange laced with cyanide, so why accept poisoned constitutional amendments just because of some youth/women’s quota clauses? 

As the shock over the recently gazetted Constitutional Amendment No 2 Act deepens, and the realization of the reality of the brutal shredding, and callous assassination, of any semblance of democracy in Zimbabwe, at the hands of the ruling elite, sinks in – there are sadly some who are still eager to excuse their retrogressive actions by allowing themselves to be used as pawns in this unpardonable treacherous act.

Source: Would you eat an orange laced with cyanide, so why accept poisoned constitutional amendments just because of some youth/women’s quota clauses? – The Zimbabwean

In the wake of these insincere and shamefully disingenuous attempts, I have decided to pen a follow-up to my article that I produced yesterday, titled, “Where are the millions who voted for Zimbabwe’s ‘new’ 2013 Constitution when it’s being ravaged and raped by ruling elite?”

Of course, if there are those who still believe that the best and most effective way to empower women, or the youth, or any other previously (or, currently) disadvantaged group, is via affirmative action, or quota systems – which, to be quite honest, I would rather call “favoritism”, that does not help anyone grow and be strong in any way – then, that is perfectly their right, which should be respected.

However, what we witnessed with what transpired with the Constitutional Amendment No 2 Act was nothing short of gross deviousness and a travesty of justice, which can only be described as a “poisoned chalice”, that those with even a grain of conscience and wisdom should have resisted.

Banding together what would have appeared as a huge advantage, via empowerment clauses for women and the youth in our country – through extending the current women’s quota in parliament (that was supposed to expire in 2023) by two more terms, and introducing ten more seats for people aged between 21 and 35 years old – with unambiguously autocratic clauses, that pile most power in the hands of only one person in the whole country (the president), should never have been any justification for supporting such medieval legislation, only suited for the likes of King Henry VIII, not a modern day democracy.

Surely, when the president is given unchecked authority to fill the seats of the three most senior judges in the country – even when he would be required to consult with the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), he would not be required to accept any of the body’s recommendations – where is the principle of separation of power, and checks and balances, which is the cornerstone of any bona fide democracy?

Furthermore, whilst the president must inform the Senate if his decision is not consistent with the recommendations of the JSC, the Senate would not have the authority to block, or change, or force him to change, his decision.

Resisting such an imperial move should be common sense – but, then, as the saying goes, “common sense is not that common”!

We all know that an orange is packed with vitamin C, and many other nutrients highly beneficial to the human body – but, how many of us would accept to eat this rich fruit, knowing fully well that it has been laced with a potent poison as cyanide?

Why not?

If you would not eat the orange – yet, being very good for your health – for fear of an imminent agonizing death, due to the cyanide, then why would anyone vote for, or support, a piece of seemingly advantageous legislation, which is however, laced with poisonous fascist clauses, that seek to reverse the enormous gains previously made by the popular adoption of one of the best and most progressive constitutions in the world (voted for by millions of Zimbabweans in a 2013 referendum)?

If there are legislators in both houses of parliament (National Assembly, and Senate) who genuinely considered the women’s and youth quota system as the most effective way to advance and empower these groups, why did they not use their authority and powers as lawmakers to force the removal of the “cyanide” from the “orange”?

If they can not even exercise their constitutionally-enshrined authority and powers, then they absolutely have business sitting in that august house.

Are they seriously telling (with a straight face) the millions of democracy-loving and progressive Zimbabweans, who overwhelmingly voted for this phenomenal document – which provided enormous hope for a brighter and prosperous future for our nation (as much as the ruling elite were never too keen in actually implementing most of the provisions, especially those promoting and guaranteeing democracy) – that they preferred taking their own country back to the stone age, merely because they wanted some extra seats for women and youth in parliament?

Or, did they merely allow their selfish greed for power, privilege, and wealth – as well as fear of their political party leaders – to prostitute themselves into selling out the whole country, for “thirty pieces of silver”?

As someone I know would ask, “Inhamo here? Ishave here?” – loosely translated, it is a weary and desperate cry, asking whether these inexplicably treacherous actions would have been motivated by poverty, or some malevolent spirit.

For me, the only plausible explanation is fear, ignorance, and immoral greed – which is characterized by a group of people entrusted and deployed by those who elected them to represent their constituents in parliament, yet have turned against these same electorate, as they now represent their leaders – something clearly counter their mandate, and a huge betrayal of trust.

Furthermore, I would not be particularly shocked if more than half of those sitting in parliament, as lawmakers, do not even have the foggiest idea what these laws they are brainwashed to support – through the whipping system – actually say, and their impact not only on the country and its people, but also themselves.

If I were to go a step further, from what we have witnessed over the past year with the MDC debacle – whereby, some parliamentarians who feared recalling, sold their souls to the devil – there is every reason to believe that most of those who voted for the smooth passage of this draconian constitutional amendment, sought to protect their own selfish ambitions, and cared naught for those who deployed them (the electorate).

All I can say to these parliamentarians is that, never take your constituents for granted, or for fools – if they have any constituents at all, as some of them, particularly from the MDC-T, came in through the backdoor, and have none.

What goes around comes around, and a time for reckoning will most surely come, when they will be held accountable by the electorate.

Selling out and sacrificing your own people – at the alter of political expediency – has never been a wise decision…no matter how uneducated you may perceive them – as the chickens will certainly come home to roost.

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263733399640, or email: mbofana.tendairuben73@gmail.com