Zanu PF stalls constitution-making

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The constitution-making process has hit another brick wall amid reports that two key Zanu PF officials had failed to attend crucial Copac management meetings this week to finalise the first draft.

Two weeks ago, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai gave drafters of the country’s new governance charter a two-week ultimatum to present their first draft.

The principals had been expected to get the draft tomorrow.

Copac co-chairpersons Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) and Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF) told NewsDay yesterday the absence of Justice and Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa had stalled the programme.

“There is no way we can publish the draft constitution this week because Zanu PF representatives are not coming for meetings,” Mwonzora said

“This has remained a thorn in the flesh for the drafters because we cannot go ahead as long as Zanu PF representatives are not there.

“The finalisation of the outstanding issues — namely, citizenship, death penalty and the structure of a devolved government — has to be resolved in the presence of Zanu PF because it is them who are saying the drafters are not following given instructions and disapprove these issues.”

Mangwana concurred saying the process could not proceed without both Chinamasa, who is the Zanu PF chief negotiator, and Mnangagwa, the party’s alternative lawyer.

Chinamasa is representing Zimbabwe at the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, which started on February 27 and ends on March 23.

Mnangagwa was in Teheran, Iran, on an official trip.

Mangwana also confirmed that the outstanding issues in the draft constitution could not be resolved without Zanu PF’s input.

Copac’s third co-chairperson Edward Mkhosi (MDC) accused Zanu PF of deliberately delaying the process to avoid full implementation of the Global Political Agreement.

“The process has been stalled again by the absence of key Zanu PF members,” he said.

“I do not know whether Zanu PF is prepared to send a substitute representative to expedite the process.

“As the situation is right now, we are to experience a further delay until all members are present.”