Mugabe gets constitution respite


GLOBAL Political Agreement (GPA) principals last week resolved that running mates in presidential elections must be introduced 10 years after the new constitution is adopted to help manage President Robert Mugabe’s explosive succession issue, it was revealed yesterday.

Report by Everson Mushava Chief Reporter

Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and MDC leader Welshman Ncube last Thursday agreed to compromise on a number of contentious clauses to allow the constitution-making process to move forward.

Zanu PF had opposed the provision on running mates in the Copac draft amid fears it would complicate Mugabe’s succession in the faction-riddled party.

There have been suggestions that the MDC formations had been outwitted by Mugabe to accommodate Zanu FP amendments to the draft.

But instructions given by Copac to drafters on the agreed amendments showed that most of the major Zanu PF proposed changes were rejected.

The constitution will still provide for devolution of power, split the Attorney-General’s Office, a National Reconciliation Commission after 10 years and dual citizenship.

Ncube yesterday said there were no winners or losers in the process and compromises were made to save the draft constitution.

“It was a win-win situation,” he said. “No political party won.

“It is the people of Zimbabwe who emerged the winners because they will have a better constitution as compared to what they had.

“All parties compromised, remember Zanu PF did not even want the word devolution to be included in the constitution.

“They also did not want the issue of running mates, the Prosecuting Authority and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

Ncube said an agreement was reached to delay the implementation of some clauses to deal with internal fissures in parties such as Zanu PF.

“If the idea is good, it is better for it to become after years than not to have it at all,” he said.

“The issue of running mates was seen to be good, but at the moment causing divisions in Zanu PF as they were used for factional fights and we agreed to defer its implementation.
“The same was done on other issues that were deferred, considering the fears and concerns of other parties.”

According to the Copac document in our possession, the parties agreed to “adopt GPA provisions (20.1.8) transitional for five years and revert to 18 July 2012, that is, in the event of a vacancy arising in the office of the President, such vacancy shall be filled, within 90 days, by a nominee of the party which held that position prior to the vacancy”.

Some of the changes also include the setting up of a National Prosecuting Authority that will be weaned from the Attorney-General’s Office in the next seven years, while a Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be set up 10 years after the constitution comes into force.

The President’s powers have also been curtailed with Clause 5:24 of the draft stipulating that for him/her to declare war, parliamentary approval must be sought.

“Clause 5.24 in respect of whether or not in declaring war the President should seek approval of Parliament, it was agreed to recast the clause to read as follows; ‘The President has power to declare war and make peace and must report same to Parliament within seven sitting days.’

“Any declaration of war may be revoked by a two-thirds majority vote of a joint sitting of Parliament.

“Upon receiving the decision of Parliament to revoke the war, the President shall take all reasonable and practical steps to disengage from that war taking due consideration of the need to ensure the safety of the Zimbabwean persons and equipment in that war”.


  1. now they are talking madhara aya. kwete kutungana kwembudzi kwavanga vachiita makore ese vachitadza kuwirirana for the benefit of the country. dual citizenship izhuula.. chatava kuda runyararo, budiriro munyika, mabasa owanda, vashandi vobhadharwawo zvakafanira, vanopfuma vopfuma fair fair, to fananawo nedzimwe nyika dzakabudirira muafrica. we have everything here to make this country the jewel of africa only if we have a stable and people chosen government. the choice is mine and yours on election day.

  2. And yet some people were saying, Ncube was locked out of the meeting at the instigation of Tsvangirai.’Hypocrites’

  3. Ma cdes, some of the desired stipulated positions are not realistic. Zimbabwe faces an imminent threat and we want parliament to convene and vote by two thirds, while the enemy WAITS!! War is the most violent of human activities, its unforgiving,, by nature brutal, and fatal. When national survival is at stake we need prompt decisions. Time, therefore, becomes the most critical factor. Remember Jugoslavia in 1940? Muchauraisa vanhu nokukopa “the world’s best practices.”

    • John wekku Mabvuku… ukati dzinofunga, kana kuti unonyora zvaunenge uchida kunyora usati waverenga article yaunenge uchicommenda??? In the article above its written… President can decleare war and seek approval from the parliament within 7 sitting days??? Pfungwa dzako ndedze hondo chete isina basa, ndosaka muchirova vanhu.

      • Mukoma Titus, sorry for the ambigiuty, mamhanyira kundituka, Anyway in the spirit of healthy intercourse, yu are forgiven. The argument was about the statement that said “The President must seek the authority of Parliament before declaring war” as the position of the MDCs, aimed at whitling the presidential powers, particularly the incumbent. The 7 days compromise position is still unworkable. Given our hung status, what if Parliament votes NO!? Remember Belgium WWII? I am convinced yu know that in IR neautrality is no defense, war is the most unforgiving, brutal and hostile human activity. Sorry, handikwanisi kurova, I am fitted with three artifial limbs. I also dont belong to any grouping inofamba ichirova vanhu. My comments about war are, therefore, first hand personal experience.

    • Nhai @something weku Mabvuku, asi hondo yacho inenge yanzwika nevari Nyamapanda chete kan Chidodo kuti zvide munda wenguva vekuunganidza parliament. Hondo dziri kutaurwa apa sahwira ndedzimwe dziya dziya dzehushamwari sedzinopedzesa innocent soldiers vana vevamwe vari muzvikoro zvinodhura. Handifungi kuti zvingaita kuti muwengi auya kuzotirwisa tingada 24 hrs to decide on what action to take. Inga unoaziva vakomana, vaita seizve.

  4. National Prosecuting Authority that will be weaned from the Attorney-General’s Office in the next seven years,can someone explain to me what this clause is entelling us coz this is the core of the constitution the rule of law should be upheld.

  5. on the issue of military action i think the president as chief commander,his generals and vice presidents shld be the ones to hold the call taura hako John tinopera kufa vachishupana muParliament


    • Come on, why do have such a short memory, its Welshman Ncube who said the Constitution will eventually become a negotiated document and that was about a year or so ago! I remember vividly MDC-T, in particular Douglas Mwonzora and the PM coming out guns blazing and saying that is a pipe dream and ” Ncube must be missing being a member of the Management Committee”. There is really nothing prophetic about about Morgan Tsvangirai, he in fact, lacks that prophetic wisdom!

  7. Truth and Reconciliation Commission after 10 years? What effect will it have after so long?Possibly many of the victims and perpetrators might de dead by then. Delaying implementation of such critical issues will only lead to problems. Does the 10 year respite on the land issue in the Lancaster House Constitution ring a bell anyone?

    • Aika @mai fatso imi hamusi kupaona here? Kubvuma kabisira kuti pakatadzwa asi regai tiende nerwaMwari. Munofunga 10 years dzinodirwei munyika medu tirisu varidzi pachedu. Hapana muchena apa. Ngavatibvirepo

  8. The main thing is to get zanupf out of power. The constitution can be changed at a later date why should Zimbabwe wait for 10 years for justice. What should be done is from day one after the fall of zanupf people must call for changes and remove these stupid clauses demanded by zanupf period. As for now give them the false protection to move forward the country-the time for the people will come.

  9. So Mugabe only has been given respite? I wonder what Tsvangirai’s view was on the running mate clause? Given that both Tsvangirai and Mugabe will not be eligible to stand for president after 10 years, shouldn’t the headline refer to the two leaders? In any case it seems this clause is more for Tsvangirai than Mugabe. Why would Mugabe require a 10 year transition rather than 5? He is 89 and when he wins this year’s presidential election it will most certainly be his last 5 year term. Tsvangirai on the other hand needs all the time he can get to contain the Bitis of the his party. This chief reporter’s lack of objectivity is glaring here, I wonder just how he got to be a chief reporter or is it a psuedonym for chief anti-Mugabe propagandist?

  10. People dont understand on war. He can declare war and parliament has to sit within 7days, of which 2/3 majority should vote against that war. Tricky, not 2/3 should vote for war but against.

    Also, if the 2/3 vote against that war/ revoke, quote “the President shall take all reasonable and practical steps to disengage from that war taking due consideration of the need to ensure the safety of the Zimbabwean persons and equipment in that war”.

    Reasonable and practical steps might take the duration of that war. Reasonable is not definative, practical is not an enforcing term.
    HAPANA CHAVAGONA APA. Do these people know what is REASONABLE and PRACTICAL to MUGABE???
    Ask those from the South/Western Zimbabwe. Fifth brigade was reasonable and practical to contain the few disidents.

  11. what about the small calse on Ngochani namaGarachani?
    Does this mean Godard and Thachel vachatoita Mr Ngochani 2014 here? Guest of Honor Moregay Chepabonde.

  12. Imi munopenga chete! Mapenda nyoka? Kana makorobha dam? How can Bob, Tsvangison, na Ncube allow the truth to be suppressed for ten years, isu vakarohwa ne ZanuPf tichingovira?
    Kana mavotes akatipa freedom ini ndichatora the law into my own hands and seek revenge on these ZanuPf renegades vakandirwadzisa.Bob better be be careful nemadhara ake aya arikushaina these days! They will see our power and wrath!

  13. President as the power to declare war or peace and the then report some to paramende. Get this clear power to declare …… and report some to ….. .

  14. Some writers here think that President Mugabe will live forever.For example, President Mugabe is too old to even think a war will occur in his remainng days. In any case, what war…with who…for what and when is this war that President Mugabe is likey to declare.

    Surely President Mugabe cannot be basis for analysing the consitution. We are unreasonably too fixed on President Mugabe.

  15. This 10year delay was copied from the Lancaster House agreement which deferred the abolition of the 20 white seats in Parliament by 10years. All the relevant criminals will be dead by then or too old to prosecute. Hahahah!

    • One could also say that is the best way of breakng the ‘cycle’.

      The same way the USA dealt with Slavery…..though this one leaves a very ‘bitter taste’.

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