Mugabe concedes defeat

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe last week conceded defeat in the constitution-making process, saying the draft charter was a compromise document and promised traditional leaders that his government would amend the new supreme law once voted into power in the forthcoming general elections.

Report by Moses Matenga/ Tatenda Chitagu

Zimbabwe is expected to go for a referendum on a new constitution on March 16 after three years of tussling between Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and the two MDCs in the inclusive government.

Mugabe, whose party has been under fire from chiefs for compromising to a Copac constitution that has curtailed the powers of traditional leaders who played a pivotal role for Zanu PF in the past elections, assured his supporters that amendments would be made in line with the party’s demands in the event the party won the next polls.

He was speaking at a belated Annual Chiefs’ Conference in Masvingo last Friday where he also launched seven community share ownership schemes in the province.

“We agreed on the constitution, not all that we wanted came out,” Mugabe said.

“It was a compromise. After the elections, we will amend the constitution to fit in some of your views, right now we must get rid of this three-headed creature.”

Mugabe at one point vehemently threatened to go for elections using the Lancaster House Constitution if the MDCs refused to accommodate Zanu PF’s demands, but made a sudden about-turn and compromised. That was after his party rejected the Copac constitution released on July 18.

Zanu PF held four meetings that amounted to an excess of 50 hours with politburo members burning the midnight oil to come up with amendments to the draft. The party rewrote the draft constitution, proposing 266 changes claiming they represented the people’s views raised during the outreach programme to collect information.

But the party later withdraw its threats and allowed the the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference to proceed.

On January 17, Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and MDC leader Welshman Ncube announced they had made a breakthrough on the draft constitution that was later passed by Parliament on February 6.

But after Chiefs’ Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira said the Copac draft was not the best they wanted and should be altered before polls likely to take place in July this year, Mugabe admitted his compromises were not a victory for Zanu PF and promised to amend it as soon as he was voted into power.

Zanu PF was against several clauses that later found their way into the final draft to be subjected to a referendum such as devolution of power, dual citizenship, the setting-up of the National Prosecuting Authority and the Constitutional Court.

18 Responses to Mugabe concedes defeat

  1. Titus February 18, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    Mugabe, please stop that nosense, amending the constitution??? You will amend your Zanu Pf one after you receive another bashing from the one and only Man among men Chamatama.

  2. CDE February 18, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Aiwa vaMugabe mazobvuma.

  3. Murutisi February 18, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    That’s a first. Achimwene Matibili conceding defeat. Let’s hopes the next he concedes defeat again in June he will vacate office as well.

  4. sabi February 18, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Mugabe you have ruined more than enough and have destroyed any legacy that you may have left and you will leave nothing but contept hate and ridicule for the name and person of Mugabe! Leave this earth and go quickly to the otherside where there are those waiting for you impatiently!!

  5. Tambaoga Shirichena February 18, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    This is mature democracy if one can concede defeat and testify before a constituency of chiefs who have enjoyed 30 seats under the current Lancaster house Constitution. ZANU (PF) may amend its own constitution to embrace the wishes of the chiefs. As far as the Supreme Law of the Country is concerned, the Constituion must be left intact and pregnant with tolerance of diversity if democratic governance is to prevail on this tiny Southern African country. The futile attempt to amend the draft COPAC Draft Constitution has been rejected leading to consent of the quartet [His Excellence, President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Right Honourable Prime Minister Richard Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Professor Aurther O. Mutambara and Minister of Industry & Trade, Professor Welshman Ncube] to gazette it thereby paving the way for the Referendum set for 16 March 2013.

  6. born1924 February 18, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    sorry chiefs do not be fooled,amending the constitution will not be that easy

    • george bachinche February 18, 2013 at 11:16 am #

      A constitution can be amended. In fact countries with written constitution periodically amend them to move on with the times.

      It depends of course on the number of seats ZANU PF would have in the new parliament. In most countries there has to be two third plus one vote to be able to amend the constitution.

      • born1924 February 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

        thanks for the info,but like i said it will be difficult considering that it is most unlikely that one part will get two thirds

  7. people power February 18, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Lets see proper conceeding after July 2013.

  8. John weku Mabvuku February 18, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Imi Vana Matenga & Chitatu, I have heard you being criticised for subtley supporting MDC-N, check para 9 up there, Maybe i could be wrong but vana Mbonisi will rejoice as if Highlanders has finally beaten Dembare!! Halala Halala….! Who is the actual (MDC-Leader”? or was it a neglible editorial mistake?

  9. Bots February 18, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    Both mugabe & chiefs hav agreed to the draft no amendments wil be possible after elections

  10. jonah February 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    It took years to amend the Lancaster house CONSTITUTION DRAFTED WITH THE HELP OF A WHITE MAN. Now you draft you own and even before the referendum you contemplate amending it.
    the reason being that some of the points raised by the president ,s party are not included. Do we amend constitutions to embolden parties or to strenghthen the people’s national aspirations. When we do such things mr president we devide the people and the country will never progress like has been the case ever since your rule. Please seek to unite your people and pull together towards the majority aspirations and you shall see the power of unity you have never seen before. as a president it is your duty to harness people’s power towards national development for posterity. where we are today as a nation is due to lack of leadership foresight Mr president. The one thing we yearn for in Zimbabwe is a leader that can unite us like other prosperous nations in the world today. Zimbabwe has longed for such a leader for far too long. Iam aware that it will be asking for far too much if i asked you to be such a leader today after 30 years of your difficult rule. All leaders who have moved along your current path have never listened let alone change their ways once they took that confrantational path. Most of all at 89 years it would be ignorant of me to even plead with you that you take the opposite direction. That is why i believe you mean what you said, You will change the constitution when you win elections. I for one will not vote for you because i do not want a leader who changes constitutions to suite his party and not the nation. The nation if it votes yes, will HAVE SPOKEN to you and sundry that that is the constitution they want. but alas! before it is affirmed you already want to change it regardless. Do we as zimbabweans mean anything to you at all. Will we zimbabweans ever have milk and honey as promised. We have seen the diamonds but that is how far we have gone but never tested the benefits and yet we see some leaders in our mist buldging to abnomarlity due to the taste of these minerals. They are for the few selected ones in Zimbabwe. God forbid. You simply want to change the constitution to enable you reward your boys and not the generality of the Zimbabwean nationals.

  11. mutotesi February 18, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Maiita basa rekudya mari dzemataxpayer for nothing. Chii chamakambo contributa kudevelopment yeZimbabwe kubva 1980 imi madzimambo. Manje rwendo rwuno mamama and msono yenyu mese muno manikidza vanhu kusupporta Bhobho.

  12. muchaka February 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    misleading headline !

  13. Matenga wemaDiamonds February 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Misleading headline. That’s what happens when political commissars moonlightas journalists.

  14. Phunyukabemphethe February 18, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Kanti vele what is the mental state of a people who vote an 89 year old for a president?

    Surely nothing of the sort happens around the world – only in Zimbabwe.

    Clearly some people have serious psychological/mental problems in that country.

    Remember Gukurahundi Mugabe is not just the oldest President/head of state in Africa-he is the oldest on planet earth- the whole world.

  15. Matibili 1 February 18, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Even to us his family this man is an embarrassment! Seriously. First he is not using his proper family surname, he is leading the wrong country, even mutupo wake is misleading. The ancestors are very angry & nothing he does or says will make sense. If he continues in this path it will result in madness, blindness & senility. Meaning Zimbabwe will be the first country to be led by a mad man!

    Zimbabweans be warned!

    • These chiefs are all fools and a bunch of idiots used by Ian Smith and by Mugabe.Mazomama,mangamajaira makudo. February 19, 2013 at 5:45 am #

      Chiefs a bunch of idiots

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