Zapu and Zanu-Ndonga have threatened to join the Lovemore Madhuku-led National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) in its campaign for a “No” vote during the referendum for adoption of a new national constitution if the draft document does not incorporate devolution of power.
Zapu spokesperson Methuseli Moyo and Zanu Ndonga national chairman Reketayi Semwayo told NewsDay separately on Thursday their exclusion from observing the drafting process compromised credibility of the draft document and threatened to veto it at referendum stage.
“The exclusion of other political parties which are not part of the GPA in the drafting process shows that the two MDCs and Zanu PF want to foster their interests because during the outreach process they only took five people from Zapu out of 1 000 participants and now they have completely left us out,” said Moyo.
“The core issues that we want to see included in the draft are issues of devolution of power and electoral systems where we have proportional representation for parliamentary and presidential elections and first-past-the-post for local and district elections.”
Moyo added: “We are anxious to see how they are going to see that into the draft and if it is not included, it would be a non-starter and our party would definitely join Madhuku in campaigning for a ‘No’ vote.”
Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD), led by former Zanu PF politburo member Simba Makoni, has also expressed reservations over its exclusion from the constitution-making process.
MKD spokesperson Silver Bhebe said early this week the draft document was unlikely to reflect the views of the general public following the exclusion of smaller parties in the drafting process.
But Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T), co-chairperson of the constitution-making body Copac, maintained the drafting process would be transparent.
However, Semwayo said if there was to be transparency in the Copac-led process, all political parties and organisations’ interested should be considered.
“It creates doubt on whether this national programme will be genuine because it is not only our participation that is important, but transparency is imperative. If they begin to exclude other people from participating, it would raise doubts about the credibility of the draft constitution. We feel we can also play a part in observing the drafting stage because we are interested in our views being included in the new constitution,” Semwayo said.