MASVINGO — Zimbabwe’s much anticipated constitutional referendum — a forerunner to next year’s harmonised elections — seems to be headed for a brickwall, as parties involved in the constitution-making process have reportedly failed to agree on contentious issues, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora has revealed.
Report by Tatenda Chitagu Own Correspondent
In an interview on the sidelines of the MDC-T’s provincial council meeting held at the Masvingo Civic Centre yesterday, Mwonzora said the parties had resolved three quarters of the outstanding issues and were stuck over the remainder.
“We are not sure when we will hold the referendum, but we will sit down as a committee. While we were satisfied that there are no major changes after the second all-stakeholders’ conference, there arose political issues like devolution, the National Prosecuting Authority and running mate clause, among others,” said Mwonzora.
“We felt as the two MDC formations that there was no need to revisit the issues,” he said. “If not resolved, the referendum will be delayed. But we hope that will not happen as we feel that the (draft) constitution should go to the people. It (the constitution) is now a stale document to politicians. It is not up to the political leadership to decide, but the people,” Mwonzora said.
Describing the latest stalemate as a “deadlock not on substance, but process”, Mwonzora put the blame on Zanu PF for applying delaying tactics.
“As the two MDC formations, we did not see any need to revisit the sticking issues. But Zanu PF still thinks there is a need to reopen them and get them resolved. But can we go back and keep on negotiating even if we have renegotiated the issues? You cannot negotiate in good faith twice.
“This is a dispute bent on the process. It is a deadlock not on substance, but process,” he said.
The Nyanga North legislator said the MDC formations would turn to Sadc for intervention if Zanu PF did not give in.
“We will invoke the Sadc Maputo Resolution which states that the facilitator must intervene,” Mwonzora added.