MDC-M has no policy on gays— Mutambara


BULAWAYO: Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-M) led by deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara on Friday says it has no policy on gays in Zimbabwe and that it was up to the people to decide whether homosexuality should be included in the constitution.
MDC-M deputy national spokesperson, Nhlanhla Dube said his party would be guided by the people’s wishes in the constitutional-making process and would not give them instructions on how to write the supreme law.
“As a party we are guided by the people,” Dube said.
“It is them who should decide whether homosexuality issues should be included on the constitution or not.” Dube agreed however that Zimbabwean culture did not condone homosexuality. Recently, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai castigated homosexuality when commemorating Women’s Day in Chitungwiza.
President Mugabe is on record condemning gays as “worse than pigs and dogs.” Various human rights groupings have advocated for homosexuality to be enshrined in the constitution, much to the chagrin of the Zanu PF leadership. Dube said his party was also advocating for the devolution of power, proportional representation and limited presidential terms.
“These three issues are not negotiable. Devolution of power will ensure that people in different parts of the country decide on all aspects of their welfare; be it political or economic,” Dube said.
Dube said MDC-M wanted presidential terms to be limited to two five-year terms.
“We don’t have an age limit for a president but a candidate has to be in a right frame of mind,” he said.
“The party believes that without limiting the presidential term of office, good governance would remain severely compromised and a pipe dream. We therefore propose that the president term of office be limited to only two terms.”
Dube said the three issues had been raised by people during his party’s consultative meetings with the people.
“You can be assured the issues will be raised when official consultations begin next week,” he said.
Dube implored people to go out in their numbers and speak out their minds.
The outreach programme was officially launched last Wednesday where President Mugabe and Tsvangirai denounced violence during the exercise while Mutambara took a swipe at Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn’s interim president Simba Makoni and revived Zapu’s Dumiso Dabengwa for missing the event.
Meanwhile, National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (Nango) said civil society was concerned with reports of “participation of instigators of violence” as members of outreach teams.
“Communities are still in a state of great insecurity following the political violence associated with the pre-and post 2008 election period,” said Nango in a a statement.
Nango said rural constituencies were being ‘coached” by political parties on appropriate responses to be given during outreaches.
“This is an infringement on the right to the freedom of expression and has the potential to incite fear.”