We can’t change our past, our future we can!

via We can’t change our past, our future we can! December 2, 2013 by Moses Chamboko

The problems that have bedevilled our country are well known to everyone, within and without Zimbabwe. Finding a lasting and appropriate solution is what we must be seized with. Often, possible routes to the solution were hampered by intimidation, violence, fear, or oppression. Nevertheless, Zimbabweans must remain focused on the task at hand; which is to create our own future, a much better future.

When Zimbabweans turned up in large numbers to endorse the new constitution on 16 and 17 March 2013, they did so with the innocent belief that they were creating a new future not only for themselves but also for posterity. When President Mugabe appended his signature on 22 May 2013 to the draft constitution, making it the supreme law of the land, we all thought Zimbabweans had finally started moving steadily into the future. We were wrong!

Recently, we were told that at least 280 legal instruments need to be aligned to the new constitution. So far, the most visible implementation of the new constitution has been re-assignment of Johannes Tomana to the Prosecutor-General’s office. Clearly, those with political muscles are picking and choosing what they want to implement and what they wouldn’t care much about. It won’t be surprising if the re-alignment exercise took another decade. Have we become a nation of clowns?

One Jealousy Mawarire, made legal history when he took President Mugabe to court the result of which was fast-tracked proclamation of harmonised elections which were held in disharmony on July 31. Soon after the constitutional draft was adopted, Mutumwa Mawere approached the Constitutional Court after the Registrar-General had stripped him of his birthright. Mawere won the case, was allowed to vote and his citizenship was restored.

One doesn’t need to be a legal guru to conclude that Mawere vs. Registrar-General is now a legal precedent. Why then do authorities pretend as if they were unaware of the implications of this judgment? Recently, a Zimbabwean passed on in Australia. Repatriation of his body to Zimbabwe was reportedly delayed because of unnecessary clarification of citizenship that the ministries of Home and Foreign Affairs still insist on.

The issue of a valid passport or dual citizenship should not stand in the way of a decent burial. In my whole life, I’ve never known an original Briton, Chinese or Australian called Nhunduru, Ndebele or Nyanhete.  If that person happens to die while outside Zimbabwe, doesn’t it make sense for authorities to expedite repatriation without unnecessarily quoting archaic provisions of the old constitution? Why would anybody want to be buried in Zimbabwe if they didn’t come from there, in the first place?

My grandmother died in her late 80’s. If a valid passport had been demanded as a precondition for burying her, her remains would still be lying in her hut. Why can’t President Mugabe simply issue a proclamation to the effect that any law or Act that is in conflict with the new constitution is a legal nullity? Wouldn’t this immediately mitigate the flow of needless traffic to the Constitutional Court and take pressure off the Justice Ministry?

Lastly, in exploring options towards creating our future, some have been asking “Why now?” in reference to the ZUNDE initiative. As we have said elsewhere, there is never a wrong time to do the right thing. Also, there are no monopolies in democracy. As for what ZUNDE will do differently, our objectives, vision, mission and most importantly our values of Fairness, Accountability, Inclusiveness and Respect (FAIR) will set us apart. At ZUNDE, we believe and know that while we can’t change our past, our future we can! ZUNDE’s approach is different; we have moved away from the politics of patronage, personalities and insults, and have chosen to focus on substance.

Moses Chamboko is the interim Secretary General for ZUNDE. You can contact us at info@zunde.org or visit us at www.zunde.org .



  • comment-avatar

    It’s not necessary for the President to issue a proclamation making conflicting laws null and void, because it’s already in the new Constitution! It clearly states that any law in conflict with the new Constitution is null and void once it is signed by the President.

    However, getting the Mudede and Chihuri to obey the law is another matter entirely!

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    … That is to say, any law in conflict with the Constitution is null and void once the Constitution was signed by Mugabe, which he did on 22 May, 2013.

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    lawyer 8 years ago

    Clearly, another article of journalistic opinion minus fact or solution.
    What is needed is for journalists to get a life, move away from being activists for obscure groups of individuals.
    He talks of the constitution as if it was a great achievement.
    It is possibly one of the worlds worst, worse that the one it replaced which was even the opinion of the person in charge.
    We need to stop going backwards and this cant happen until the propaganda ceases in the media.

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      Mthwakazi 8 years ago

      LAWYER, please understand that it is not about whether the constitution is a good or a bad one. Its about obeying the law,to which the majority of the nation has all signed up for.

      Why did Mugabe hold up his Bible and swore he would uphold this same constitution; what was his reason?

      listen my friend, the moment you decide to pick and choose the laws you want to obey as a nation, you are now treading on very dangerous grounds. You are creating chaos and no society has ever developed along those lines!!

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    Zindoga 8 years ago

    So why do Mudede, Chihuri and other players act as if they don’t know that the new constitution exists? Why should people flock to the ConCourt just for sombody to follow the constitution? Isn’t it madness? When do these ppeople get charged with contempt of the constitution?????????????

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    Paidamoyo 8 years ago

    Lawyer, can you tell us in which way the old constitution was better than the new one? Also, if a person says their opinion in the public, it doesn’t necessarily qualify them as a journalist. You don’t need to be a journalist to say what you think. If I were you, I would re-enrol for first year legal studies. A lawyer like you would be a danger not only to the world but to themself!!!!

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      Paidamoyo A typical journalist argument – I wouldn’t pay fees for you to become a journalist because you would never make it.
      1. A reporter reports fact.
      2 A Journalist then takes fact and without taking sides may give opinion based on fact.
      In Zimbabwe they all think they are journalists and without any evidence come to an absolute conclusion – there lies the problem.
      It is clearly you that need an education – o level might help and a bit of parental discipline.
      A person who believes in fact and truth like me is only a danger to those criminals who invent situations and stories.

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      lawyer 8 years ago

      For one thec old condstitution treared journalists the same as ordinary people and didn’t place them above other in society.
      EG for those who don’t understand.
      If you or I shout bomb at the airport ewe go to jail for causing alarm to passengers and employees and its right.
      If a journalist does the same he will say he has freedom of expression.
      He can say our president is dying in Singapore as they did this is ok – if we do it is causing alarm and we go to jail.

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    Sad,sad, sad, when you think of the simplicity of life itself, BUT then you live in this country run by gangsters,looters and murderers and suddenly life becomes a nightmare, and we live in a society infected with corruption and abuse on its own people, and this finds its way onto the roads of our country by those we are meant to call ‘police’ who are nothing more than daylight robbers. Go into ANY government department and you are treated like a soulless animal as every stop is pulled out to make life difficult for you, and to show how much “POWER!!” the person attending you has over you.
    We can have the most flawless constitution ever created, but it is meaningless in a country like ours where idiots and self appointed morons rule with impunity, and they care less about anyone else except their own welfare and enrichment. These people disgust me to the marrow of my bones, and anyone who aligns himself to these people had better hang their heads in absolute shame.

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      lawyer 8 years ago

      As reported in the Guardian and a US paper and agreed byb the one in charge of the constitution ,making process who reportedly said he would never forgive TSVANGERAI, this constitution for many reasons is worse than the previous one.
      Unfortunately, because the media got freedom to promote troube and lie they think its brilliant because it fits in with their characters.

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    Mthwakazi 8 years ago

    Moses Chamboko, if you believe you can change your future, first start by changing the psyche of the majority in Zimbabwe who continue with the view that says the highest office in the land is a preserve of people from one tribal group.

    How do you explain that the contest for the leadership of ZANU PF is between Mujuru and Mnangagwa. Yet Mnangagwa is a junior to Khaya Moyo in the party hierarchy?

    How do you explain the fact that the names of possible successors to Tswangirayi in the MDC-T are of people who are all junior to the party’s current deputy president Thokozani Khuphe? People such a little Nelson Chamisi, Tendayi Biti, Mudzuri etc?

    Moses Chamboko sir, if you are really honest about what you have written above, start with these questions that I have posed for you. You will realise that Zimbabwe’s problems are centred not only on a dishonest leadership but are also centred on a dishonest majority electorate.