The constitution-making process is facing more delays after the Welshman Ncube-led MDC party yesterday vowed to resist being pushed to resolve outstanding issues until their leader has been recognised as one of the coalition government’s three principals.
The process stalled a few weeks ago after Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC failed to reach consensus on devolution of power, dual citizenship and the structure of the Executive.
The fresh demands by the MDC came at a time when the three principals in the inclusive government — President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara — gave Copac up to next week to produce a draft constitution.
MDC deputy secretary-general Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, who is also a member of the Copac management committee, dismissed the ultimatum.
“Mutambara is not a principal and at the end of it all Mugabe will give his ultimatum to the negotiators in Zanu PF, Tsvangirai will give his ultimatum to his negotiators in MDC-T. Which negotiators is Mutambara going to then give his ultimatum to?” he asked.
“We have reached the end of our negotiations and have now referred the matter to the principals who should be Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Ncube. The principals must have a properly constituted body.”
Cabinet also tasked Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga to fast-track the process.
But Matinenga yesterday said Copac could not be rushed into completing the draft. “If we rush them, we will have a draft which is short of those three outstanding issues — devolution of power, citizenship and the issue of vice-presidents because they need to be included in the new charter,” Matinenga said.
Mugabe wants the constitution-making process concluded to pave way for fresh elections.