JOHANNESBURG — Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan Moyo yesterday stepped up his assault on the new draft constitution that would rein in presidential powers, saying it was an attack on democracy.
“It strips the Executive of all powers and leaves it as a clerical branch of government,” said Moyo, a one-time spin doctor of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and former information minister.
“This draft is an attack, quite a serious attack, on our sovereignty, quite a serious attack on our democracy.”
The document will go to a referendum vote, most likely in October, and is a key reform demanded by regional mediators ahead of polls to end the uneasy ruling coalition between Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Speaking at a discussion forum organised by the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, a Pretoria-based think-tank, Moyo said Zanu PF had last week spent 18 hours combing through the document and was still discussing it.
The long-delayed draft did not reflect the views expressed by ordinary Zimbabweans during an outreach programme but was a compromise between the main political parties, he said.
“If you ask what is it that is in the draft that raises problems . . . I am tempted to say everything.
“But if I say that it has 18 chapters, but I can tell you that each of the 18 chapters has a problem.”
The draft plans to set down a presidential two-term limit of 10 years and strip any immunity from prosecution after leaving office.
Mugabe has been in power since independence in 1980 with his term peppered with accusations of human right abuses. Moyo also criticised the regional power bloc Sadc for continuing to “poke its nose” in the day-to-day running of Zimbabwe’s power-sharing government long after the bloc brokered a power-sharing agreement.
“There is too much Sadc interference in the GPA (Global Political Agreement) like a marriage counsellor who stays in your bedroom after helping solve a problem,” Moyo said.
“Sadc is still in our bedroom, why could it not take a leaf from Koffi Annan’s book in Kenya and leave the GPA alone?”
South African President Jacob Zuma is the Sadc-appointed mediator in talks to end the political crisis in Zimbabwe.
The draft was finished this month by negotiators from the country’s main political parties and has already been disputed by some analysts.
Zanu PF’s politburo meets today to decide the party’s final position on the draft amid indications hawks and securocrats want the document thrown away.
Moyo is believed to be the new voice of the securocrats who are not comfortable with a non-Zanu PF leader succeeding President Robert Mugabe and have vowed never to accept Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s leadership.