Chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly
Date of Birth: 20/07/1966
Place of Birth: Chipinge
Education: Bachelor of Law, University of Zimbabwe, 1990; Master of Law degree, University of Cambridge, 1994; ; PhD Law, University of Cambridge, 1999.
Career: Founding member of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), 1997 Vice-Chairman, NCA, 1999-2001; Chairman, NCA, 2001 to date.
Commentary: Lovemore Madhuku has been a thorn in the flesh of both President Robert Mugabe’s government and the current inclusive government since he took over as chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) in 2001. He has been fighting for one thing, a people-driven national constitution. Though he was a close ally of Morgan Tsvangirai when he was still secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and chairman of the NCA and Douglas Mwonzora, present co-chairman of the Parliamentary Committee responsible for the new constitution who was at one time vice-chairman of the NCA, Madhuku insists parliament cannot decide on the new constitution alone. He argues that the Kariba Draft agreed by the three main parties in the inclusive government should not form the basis of the new constitution and has vowed to mobilise people to oppose any new constitution that does not involve civil society. Though the NCA was instrumental in the rejection of the proposed constitution in 2000, most people believe Madhuku cannot pull the bluff this time. Some of the key people that supported the NCA and the rejection of the 2000 constitution such as fellow University of Zimbabwe lecturer, John Makumbe, now argue that Madhuku cannot hold the nation to ransom. Madhuku is probably overplaying the significance of the NCA and underestimating the popularity of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Right now what Tsvangirai says is likely to carry the day. This is not likely to silence Madhuku. He has vowed: "I will not give up my desire for Zimbabweans to have a new constitution; I am prepared to die for it.”