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Zimbabweans have come to view constitution not as statement of shared principles but as cudgel with which to attack enemies

19 May 2021 at 23:53hrs | Views
Zimbabweans on both the left and the right now view their political opponents not as fellow Zimbabweans with differing views, but as tribal  enemies to be vanquished. And they have come to view the Constitution not as an aspirational statement of shared principles and a bulwark against tribalism, but as a cudgel with which to attack those enemies.

The noise which has been deafening the Zimbabwean atmosphere has nothing to do with the Constitution but a stark rotten society which views Zimbabwe's politics on tribal grounds.

The MDC has shown no tolerance of the people from the minority tribes. They kicked out Welshman NCUBE. They tried to kill Khupe at a funeral. In Welshman's party they brought in Arthur Mutambara to suppress the minority.

If Malaba was from another tribe will there be such a jubilation from the opposing sections. If Malaba was someone there will be no jubilation in the opposition camp. They are now trying to pretend as if they are human rights defenders when they are actually tribalists aiming at Malaba. MDC has no track history of inclusiveness. This went to the dustbin after Tsvangirai died.

The dark underside of that party of course, is tribalism.  Alone among modern party democracies, the MDC has maintained extensive tribal based inuendos within its ranks and the Constitution is now being torn into pieces to make sure the judiciary is cleansed of all those not the right people according to MDC. The judiciary is no longer a protected institution. The MDC wishes to see Malaba gone and replaced by their own person. MALABA has always been focused and never viewed any one by his tribe.

We can not be fooled advocate Thabani Mpofu is a Karanga from Midlands and he is only dangling on a Ndebele name which is a trademark of Shonas in the Midlands.

Of course, Zimbabweans throughout history of the constitution have not criticized the Constitution until Malaba replaced Chidyausiku. Malabas appointment was opposed heavily and his extension saw a Shona only bench deciding his fate. This has nothing to do with the Constitution or ZANU PF. I hate to say it but this time ZANU PF is on point. Zimbabwe is not for one tribe only. It is for all of us and nobody has the ultimate right to be on top.

MDC has shown that it is not Progressives but it has tarred as plutocratic and antidemocratic for more than two decades.

In the court case which purports to be Interpretation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe  the "direct, impelling motive" behind the Case was not "some abstraction known as ‘justice,' " but the judicial advantages" of the propertied elite.

In recent years, however, the MDC has become more and more influenced by identity politics, a force that has changed the way many progressives view the Constitution. For some on the left, the document is irredeemably stained by the sins of the Founding Fathers, who preached liberty while holding people in chains. The people vowing to protect the Constitution are vowing to protect tribal supremacy and genocide.
The Constitution once united a diverse country under a banner of ideas. But partisanship has turned Zimbabweans against one another—and against the principles enshrined in our founding document.

The Zimbabwean constitution was and is imperfect. It will take more amendments to establish that the principles enumerated in its Bill of Rights extended to all Zimbabweans regardless of tribe and the struggle to live up to those principles continues today. But focusing on the Constitution's flaws can overshadow what it did achieve. Its revolutionary ambition was to forge, out of a diverse population, a new national identity, uniting Zimbabweans under a banner of ideas. To a remarkable extent, it succeeded.

Even at the country's founding, Zimbabweans were a multiethnic, polyglot mix of Shona, Ndebele, Kalanga and others. They tended to identify far more strongly as Zimbabweans making an effort to bind the new nation together with common beliefs. Our founding fathers were also an unprecedented amalgam of religious denominations, including a variety of traditionalists who saw no difference in tribes.

The Constitution managed to overcome  divisions. The way it dealt with religion is illustrative. Post Colonial Zimbabwe had not embraced tolerance; on the contrary, the dissenters had become persecutors of minority tribes. But in a radical act, the Constitution not only guaranteed religious freedom; it also declared that Zimbabwe would have no national church and no religious tests for national office nor tribal tests for the same. These foundational guarantees helped Zimbabwe avoid the religious wars that for centuries had torn apart the nations of Africa.
The significance of birthright citizenship cannot be overstated. We forget how rare it is:
The Country took four decades to begin dismantling the legalized racism and tribalism that continued unabated until independence. Nonetheless, the core constitutional aspiration has been to create a tribe-transcending national identity.

This is the course the MDC is fighting against and hiding behind constitutionalism.
When we think of tribalism, we tend to focus on the primal pull of race, religion, or ethnicity. But partisan political loyalties can become tribal too. When they do, they can be as destructive as any other allegiance.

the "greatest political evil" to be feared under a democratic constitution is the emergence of tribalism disguised as a legal battle. The "spirit of tribalism is democracy's "worst enemy." It "agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.

Zimbabwe had tried to create a nation without political institutions, which are breaking down under the strain of partisan divisions and tribalism.

Living in a society that was already diverse and pluralistic," the founding generation realized that the attachments uniting Zimbabwe could not be the traditional ethnic, religious, and tribal loyalties Instead, it is reverence for the "Constitution and Laws" was to be Zimbabwe's "political religion." Zimbabweans are  to be united through a new kind of patriotism—constitutional patriotism—based on ideals enshrined in their founding document.

Zimbabwe must have a right to change its constitution and to appoint people to any position without looking at the tribe or language.
We just hope the fight against Malaba is not tribal. The way the name Malaba has been used in this fight shows that this is personal and not constitutional.

Vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk

Source - Mandla Dlamini
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