Mugabe in fresh polls Catch 22


A Cabinet committee set up to break the deadlock in the constitution-making process will meet today after it missed President Robert Mugabe’s Christmas Day deadline to conclude the exercise.

Report by Everson Mushava

Mugabe had threatened to unilaterally dissolve Parliament and call for fresh elections if the deadline was not met.

He made the threats at the recent Zanu PF annual conference in Gweru.

The 88-year-old leader risks isolation from the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) if he calls for polls without the minimum reforms demanded by regional leaders.

Under the Global Political Agreement (GPA) brokered by Sadc in 2009, a referendum on the new constitution must be held before elections can be called as a way of avoiding bloodshed that characterised the last polls.

The Cabinet committee had been scheduled to meet on Christmas eve to thrash out the more than 30 issues the three governing parties have differed on.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T Copac co-chairperson yesterday confirmed that the committee would meet today, but described Mugabe’s deadline as impossible.

“The December 25 deadline is impractical. We are meeting tomorrow (today) to try to find common ground,” he said.

MDC-T and Zanu PF have been accusing each other of delaying the constitution making process.

The committee set by Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is made up of Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu PF), Finance minister Tendai Biti and Regional Integration minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC).

The three Copac co-chairpersons — Mwonzora, Edward Mkhosi (MDC) and Paul Mangwana also sit on the committee.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga chairs the committee.

The parties have failed to reach an agreement on issues such as devolution of power, appointment of governors, executive powers for the President, the National Prosecuting Authority and dual citizenship, among other issues.

Mangwana insisted in a recent interview with a United States news agency Bloomberg that Mugabe would call for elections if there was no agreement on the constitution this month.

“There are about 30 outstanding issues that haven’t been resolved so Zanu PF has resolved that an election will be called by President Robert Mugabe if no progress is made this month,” he said.

Mugabe usually goes on holiday in January for the whole month.

A Sadc meeting in Tanzania early this month reiterated the regional body’s stance that fresh elections in Zimbabwe were not possible without reforms.

Tsvangirai also told Bloomberg that Mugabe could not unilaterally call for elections because of the GPA.

“It isn’t up to Mugabe, it is up to the people of Zimbabwe,” Tsvangirai said.

“It’s their constitution and they own it.The election has to be agreed by all parties and Sadc.”

Mugabe has been threatening to call for elections with or without reforms in the past two years saying the inclusive government had become dysfunctional.

The threats have brought uncertainty in the economy sparking a reversal of gains made under the inclusive government.


  1. it buffles the mind as 2 y ths old man wd wnt 2 cal 4 elections witout a new constitution, wat’s wit the rush, afta al there’s not enuf money evn 4 those elections. n y’s zanu pf thnkn the constitution’s crafted or targetin mugabe n zanu, ths’ a national constitution tht’s goin 2 be there 4 ths generation n beyond, the same constitution tht’s goin 2 b used by every1 including zanu pf members’ families

      • Asi muri rabbi kani vakuru? U sim 2b worrd nechirungu. Haisi nyika yechirungu ino as long as munhu aisa message kuvanhu. Endai munomaka mapepa echirungu che ZIMSEKWA.

      • He tries hard not to spell correctly but the substance is remarkable. ZanuPF thinks the constitution is targetting Mugabe , they are are assured that this is not the case. He has finished his term anywhere so how can you target a man who has said he is leaving. So lets not waste time on minor issues.

  2. pple lets be objective. the 2008 election were messy nd violent, we cnt hve elections without reforms such as media, electoral, security etc. a sane zimbabwean wld wnt elections which are free nd fair, which are undisputed.

  3. .Guys with or without a new constitution that will not stop violence i think the best way is to go for election.who ever win will then finish drafting the constitution.a i see it this thing will go on for ever with no end in sight.vamwe vakutya kupererwa nemabasa manje.

  4. Without reforms it means the president is calling for bloodshed.
    you call for elections with a constitution you have used for 33 years with people dying every time such an election is called. Why are you interested in this old constitution which was given to you by the British. I thought any thing british The president does not want to be associated with. Why is holding to this British crafted constitution with some few amendiments that make him the supreme leader. wHY NOT RE – WRITE this British rubish and lets have our home grown constitution which the president will be proud of. Not this british paper that is prone to manupulation by the imperialists. We are no longer a colony lets ditch the masters document. wE WANT OUR VERY OWN INDEGENOUS constitution that states that we have taken 51% from all british companies and 100% of all farms.
    Why hold on to the british formulated constitution. who does it serve? Iam sure not the President, may be MDC – N and Zapu etall.

  5. Hahahaha. Let us go for polls after all 5yr term is up because the reality is that this consititution will never be completed in a GNU setup. Only when one party is in absolute power we will have a new one. What are the MDC factions fearing. Hanti ndimi munoti mune support mune vanhu endai kumaPolls tione. As President sed, “ur politicians no that after this GNU their political careers will be as good as 6ft under. Salute the true General Cde Mugabe. Tsvangirai in as much as he fought the struggle atikanganwa isu maCivil Servants sure kutikanganwa tirisu takarisker our lives voting for him. Mailoser u kno well that President Mugabe will win he is the one who has done something for the people.

    • usanyepere vanhu iwe donato, u aren’t a civil servant. an insane n knowledgeable civil servant knws who’s beta mugabe or Tsvangirai. iwewe utori zvako Z.R.P (Zuva Rese Pamba)

      • Ende mucivil servant akaita gore rese achitambira mari isingatenge knows much better than this imposter.the civil servant that never wants to hear the phrase “zim dollar” knows xactly where to put the x.usanyeperevanhu iwe siyavanhu chaivo vakurukure.

  6. Kenya has a new constitution hailed as a panacea to tribal and political violence but more people have since died from violence since the constitution was passed. This shows you that it is attitudes and mentality that needs changing than what’s written on a piece of paper. Talking of a new constitution makes politicians sound smart and knowlegeable but everyone knows that it’s just a piece of paper. Look what’s happening in Egypt now? Let’s not talk as though everything starts and ends with a new constitution. To say that we shouldn’t hold elections without a new constitution is just pants because there is no guarantee that people are going to vote yes anyway. Mugabe has to do what works and if he sees that the new constitution issue is not moving them then he should just call for elections under the current constitution. After all it is still valid.

  7. No to elections the country is penniless, there should be another way round. Gavangare pasi vapedze constitution that the first step. Mwana haafambi asinakukambaira saka Bob Arikumhanyirei?
    Arikuziva kuti with the new constitution haana mukana wekubiridzira. We do not want the events of 2008 again. Zimbos you must not agree to this. Change dead or alive zvirinani hondo kana kutaurirana kwaramba

  8. Dzvinyangoma’s reasoning is more like”whats the point of having a kid anyway,at some they will die for one reason or the other….or maybe he will grow to be come a bankrobber or she will become a slut,so why bother”.iwe what we need is a good “piece of paper” and every other reform that comes with such.we r not going to end with constitutional reform…we r talking institutional reform here.thats why we are saying you guys are not serious becoz if were you would really be listening and taking action when we talk of reforms not jumping the gun zvamurikuita izvi.

  9. The nemazimbo z we cant differentiate important n petty contitution issues,,our first referendum 12 years ago with term limit makairamba thnkng mdc will win,but it was a great start for.these 30 outstanding issues are very petty,we can amend it later,every good constitution can be amended

  10. If the president with all the powers he has cant see to it that a constitution is done within stipulated time then how will he be able to lead this country using any other constitution

  11. The MDC formations have endorsed the draft constituion and urged their followers to vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum. This makes it easier for ZANU pf to campaign for a ‘NO’ vote, simple. Where is the problem here?

    • @Chimusoro – we cannot follow what cowards like you say you stupid moron. When do you think we should have elections? 2050 I suppose? Moron

  12. Say no to absolute power for any party nokuti corruption inotonyanya kana party 1 yaita 2-thirds majority.

    Zimbabwe is doing much better after the GPA was put in place, so lets continue with the GNU. There is no need to fix what is not broken. MDC provides some checks and balance to Zanu-PF which is what we have needed all along. Zanu-PF igasva rinozadziswa neMDC; uye MDC igasva rinozadziswa neZanu-PF.

  13. A constitution is not about avoiding violence or minimising it only, therefore get to appreciate the value of such a document beyond the aspect of violence.
    SADC is supervising the process of constitution making. Once its completed they will come off our backs.
    Ko izvo zvoutukana ndizvo zvambodiniko? kana iwe unowako waunoda, vhotera iyeyezve. Moyo muti unomera paunoda. Chiregai zvokuramba muchingotuka vamwe.

  14. Jonathan moyo is sleepless. He comments on every article. Sleep jono sleep. Iye tsvangirai akushaisa rugare, u better off join him.

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