I feel sorry for the grieving MDC supporters, having lost a case that meant a lot to their destiny. In as much as ZANU PF gets blamed, most of such blame is unwarranted. Early this year I posted my own analysis on issues that ought to be taken as real cause of problems in Zimbabwe. See [Irresponsibility betrays the Zimbabwean Constitution].
Possibly, it is the partisan posture that takes away our reasoning capacity? I have no doubt that eventually, the real stumbling block will come to light. We have a constitution that is designed to protect the rights of all Zimbabweans. But why do the aggrieved politicians fail to take advantage of it’s provisions?
Take one simple example: The perennial allegation of the abuse of the traditional leaders in the rural areas? The constitution is unambiguous as clearly stated in Section 281; Principles to be observed by traditional leaders:
(2) Traditional leaders must not—
(a) be members of any political party or in any way participate in partisan politics;
(b) act in a partisan manner;
(c) further the interests of any political party or cause; or
(d) violate the fundamental rights and freedoms of any person.
The fundamental question to ask is did the traditional leaders abide or not abide by these rules during the election season? I find the answer resting with those participating in the electoral processes, and not necessarily the Judges.
If traditional leaders violated Section 281, I do not expect an unethical party to rebuff support given to it by traditional leaders. It is incumbent upon the aggrieved parties to raise complaint. The question is; what does the constitution say a complainant should do when the constitution is violated thus?
I am aware of the proclivity to denounce this assertion, judging by the fact that my similar previous article was disregarded. Though not a lawyer, myself, I assume that Lawyers are trained to handle legal matters of this nature.
The aggrieved party, having lost the electoral complaint is MDCA. Could I be wrong in assuming that there is no other political party with legal brains as MDCA, in Zimbabwe? This includes their leader being a lawyer himself. With most of them having been involved in crafting the current constitution? So, where is their problem?
In the recent Constitutional Court ruling, Justice Malaba indicated that the litany of complaints brought before the Court were not new. “These could have been handled through various instruments of the justice system.” the Chief Justice declared. The question remains: Why were those instruments not utilized?
Hiring Lawyers from outside the country, without evaluating our own attitude towards our own constitution, may not necessarily be a reflection of wisdom. Expecting the so-called rich Western countries to use their muscles to punish the supposedly intransigent ZANU PF, is folly. Those countries have their own problems—possibly more serious than ours.
Just as I stated, in my previous article, I absolve ZANU PF completely out of the problems that our country is languishing in. This is not implying that I am a staunch ZANU PF supporter. If truth be told, I also curse myself for failure to take responsibility on the problems bedevilling my country.
I suppose there are many Zimbabweans who could easily steer this country into safety. But it is the partisan culture that seems to invalidate most of them? The group instinct, characterized in MDCA, seems to have drawn most people into assuming that MDCA was the best alternative to ZANU PF?
Why did the biggest opposition party, with an admirable charismatic leader like Chamisa, neglect constitutional provisions as suggested here? Could this be a sign that MDCA is not different from ZANU PF, after all? Only God knows the inner thoughts of individuals—hence observing lack of difference between ZANU PF and MDCA?
Could our learned Lawyers in MDCA please help us understand? What is the purpose of the constitution in a country’s governance? Why take any step further, if the preliminary guidelines on constitutional provisions are violated left, right and centre, without anyone raising complaint?
It should be understood that individuals are naturally incapacitated, financially and morally. This is why the group instinct will always be what encourages decision-making. Most Zimbabweans may have put a lot of hope in MDCA, considering the qualifications attributed to that party’s leadership personnel.
Who, in his/her right mind could expect a helpless ordinary individual in one of the rural areas to stand up and challenge traditional leaders? To start with, under the cruellest economic environment, that person survives under the protection of traditional leaders. Why should anyone expect him alone to challenge traditional leaders?
One thing that I assume is good about judiciary, is the Law of precedent. If MDCA had used just one test case on traditional leaders, that problem would have been settled, once and for all. Why did their top legal experts decide to keep quiet—yet knowing what their members went through in rural areas?
All hope is now on President Mnangagwa to follow through his verbal promises. As mentioned in my previous article, MDCA is at the mercy of ZANU PF, due to failure to take advantage of the constitutional provisions. Although I totally agree with Nelson Chamisa that God is in it.
We all have a responsibility to continue praying for our country. But without forgetting the fact that God is only able to deliver us out of those problems for which we have no control over. This does not include irresponsibility, as displayed in neglecting to take advantage of our own constitution.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99