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Zanu PF gives up on draft

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Zanu PF has almost given up on its many demands presented at the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference  with an “agreed”  draft  by Copac co-chairs showing very little changes to suit the party’s demands.

Report by Everson Mushava

A copy of the draft seen by NewsDay yesterday shows consensus has been reached on several chapters.  A source close to the activities of the committee appointed to finalise the process cited only two areas still in contention.

The two areas are devolution of power and the setting up of a national prosecuting authority.

On devolution, the source said the parties were haggling over whether to use the devolved system of governance or a decentralised one. The other disagreement was on the issue of the appointment of  provincial governors.

“Zanu PF is in support of a decentralised system while it also favours a situation where governors would be appointed by the President,” said the source.

Zanu PF is also against the setting up of a national prosecuting authority, preferring the current setup where the Attorney- General (AG) is in charge of the country’s justice system.

The draft seen by NewsDay was amended by Copac chairpersons Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF), Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) and MDC representative Edward Mkhosi.

It was expected to be presented to the party negotiators, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu PF), Finance minister Tendai Biti (MDC-T) and Regional Integration minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga later yesterday.

The committee was set up by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai following disagreements on what to do with the submissions made at the second stakeholders’ conference.

Zanu PF wanted principals to take over the process while the MDCs wanted the process to remain a parliamentary- driven process.

Zanu PF had attempted to use the conference to influence the adoption of its 266 amendments drawn up by the party’s politburo after the release of the July 18 Copac draft.

But the draft gleaned by NewsDay showed the contentious sections on citizenship, executive powers, traditional chiefs and other sections dealing with the security sector and the judiciary had very slight adjustments from the original.

The draft, now known as the December 12 Draft because most concessions were made on that day, has retained provisions barring chiefs and security personnel from participating in partisan politics.

“The security services are subject to the authority of this Constitution, the President and Cabinet and are subject to Parliamentary oversight,” Chapter 11.(2) reads.

“The Defence Forces must respect fundamental rights and freedoms of every person and be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional and be subordinate to civilian authority as established by the constitution,” reads Chapter 11. 6 (3) of the draft.

The Copac co-chairs also retained the existence of a central intelligence command.

Mugabe has demanded that the constitution-making process be completed before December 25, but Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs minister Eric Matinenga said the onus was on the 88-year leader and his party to ensure the process is completed expeditiously.

Last night Mangwana said: “It is work in progress. We are going through all areas. I can not give details because some of the information is too delicate for disclosure. You can ask  Minister Matinenga, he will brief you on the stage we are now at.”

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