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MDCs stick with draft constitution

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The two MDC parties have vowed to take the new draft governance charter to the Second All-
Stakeholders’ Conference with or without Zanu PF.
Copac co-chairpersons Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) and Edward Mkhosi (MDC) told NewsDay that despite Zanu PF protestations, its demands would not see the light of day.

This comes at a time Zanu PF hardliners were reportedly pushing for the country to use the Lancaster House Constitution in the next election, despite its 19 amendments arguing the current supreme law was not “fundamentally” flawed.

The Zanu PF politburo is expected to meet in Harare tomorrow to come up with a position on the draft constitution after three futile attempts.

Former Ambassador to China and Zanu PF central committee member Christopher Mutsvangwa told NewsDay last Friday: “This is a voluntary process by the parties and it is important they consult or go back to the people to say they failed. It means we will then have to go back to the old constitution and there was nothing fundamentally bad about that constitution.”

Zanu PF Copac technical adviser Goodwills Masimirembwa yesterday added: “We should not behave as if this country does not have a constitution. If there is a deadlock, we should simply continue using the current constitution.

Some of these political parties are taking this as a final constitution, yet the document is headed as a draft which means political parties are free to make contributions. The Copac Management Committee and Select Committee are accountable to their political parties and that is the reason why they have to take the draft to their parties for consultation. It is a draft, you take it back to political parties so that they make changes.”

But, Mwonzora said: “Negotiations have been done and concluded and it is now time for the people of Zimbabwe to make their position on the draft and so the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference and the referendum will proceed on the draft as it stands.

“It is not sensible to keep negotiating over the same things. During the outreach process and First All-Stakeholders’ Conference, Zanu PF engaged in intimidation and violence. We know for certain that they will try to bring their violent elements to harass the leadership of Copac during the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference, but we will not bow down to them. They want the old constitution because it does not curb corruption or electoral violence or malpractices.”

Mkhosi also said: “During the negotiations, these Zanu PF representatives would report to their party and come back with changes and now after they have signed the final document, it is surprising that they keep bringing in changes. They think Zimbabwe is their personal property, but it is the people who are going to judge whether to reject or take the draft.”

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