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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.zunde.org .