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Principals dump Mugabe

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President Robert Mugabe faces a stumbling block in his quest to wrest the constitution-making process from Parliament after his co-principals, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC leader Welshman Ncube, yesterday said they will not be party to the move.

Report by Everson Mushava Chief Reporter

Mugabe on Tuesday said Parliament had done its job and the remaining processes would now be assumed by principals to ensure speedy completion of the process, which leads to the next election.

Tsvangirai and Ncube yesterday maintained that the constitution-making process, according to Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), was driven by Parliament and Executive authority would only be needed when calling for a referendum.

Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, yesterday said Mugabe was expressing his own views as no such agreement had been reached at by the principals.

“The Prime Minister’s position is that the constitution-making process is driven by Parliament,” Tamborinyoka said.

“He is stickler to the rule of law and he believes in the separation of power. Parliament is an autonomous body which should be allowed to fulfil its mandate without the control of the Executive. He has made it clear that he has no intention to meddle in the affairs of Parliament.”

Ncube, who is one of the principals according to a Sadc Maputo declaration, also said he did not know of any agreement giving the principals the veto power.

“The only agreement I know is in the GPA which says the Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac) will produce a draft, which they have already done.”

According to Ncube, the Executive powers should only come in to call for a referendum.

“If we have a draft which is agreed, Executives will take over and call a referendum, not to rewrite a parliamentary process.
“It is Mugabe’s personal view, which is not shared by some of us,” Ncube said.

Ncube’s rival, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, refused to comment on the matter.

Officially opening the Fifth Session of the Seventh Parliament, Mugabe said principals had literally taken over the process.  Last week he also told delegates at the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference that principals had the veto power and Parliament would merely rubber- stamp their decisions.

“There is now the need for government to assume the management of the process leading to the referendum,” Mugabe said.

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