ZANU PF partners in the government of national unity (GNU) — MDC and MDC (T) — have dismissed President Robert Mugabe’s assertion that the principals were in charge of the constitution-making process, arguing that there is no such provision in the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Report by Khanyile Mlotshwa Staff Reporter
Mugabe told delegates at the official opening of the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference on Monday that the principals in the inclusive government will have the final say on the draft constitution as they were the ones who conceived the GPA that resulted in the ongoing constitution-making process.
MDC spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube told a public meeting organised by Bulawayo Agenda as part of the Ideas Festival on Thursday evening that “it will not happen that the constitution will be decided by the principals”.
“That is not there in the GPA,” he said.
“No one can ever dream the principals into the GPA.”
MDC-T deputy national organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe said the constitution should be owned by the people “and anyone who believed that he is above the people of Zimbabwe is described in English as a dictator.
“After all, that is what they signed for on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“Even when President Mugabe signs the constitution after it had gone through the referendum, he will be signing to acknowledge that that’s what the people have decided.
“People have been carried away by the word principals. There is no comma or even a full stop in the GPA that describes their job. The word came as an identity of leaders of political parties in the government.”
Bhebhe said Zimbabwean politics was “tragic” in that the executive believed “the Parliament was its subordinate.”
“That’s not right,” he said. “We will fight the 266 amendments. We are going to fight it the way we fought Ian Smith.”
A Zanu PF representative, George Tshabangu, insisted that the ministers and MPs involved in the writing of the constitution were sent by the principals and would not have the final say on the country’s new supreme law.
“The truth is that the ministers who are doing this (writing the constitution) were given terms of reference by the principals,” he said.
“At the end President (Robert) Mugabe, Prime Minister (Morgan) Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara will look at the document (constitution) and decide if it is right or not for the country.”