Parties clash over constitution
THE spat between Zanu PF and the MDC-T over the new constitution appeared to
escalate Tuesday with constitutional affairs minister, Eric Matinenga
clashing with COPAC co-chair Paul Mangwana.
The constitution has reached the drafting stage but Mangwana, from Zanu PF
this week instructed the drafters — Justice Moses Chinhengo, Priscilla
Madzonga and Brian Crozier – to stop the process claiming they were ignoring
contributions from members of the public.
Mangwana reportedly claimed the drafters were trying to include provisions
which Zanu PF opposes including guaranteeing gay rights and dual
But minister Matinenga told the drafters to ignore Mangwana’s instructions
arguing he was acting outside his mandate.
“With respect, Mangwana’s unilateral position has no merit,” Matinenga said.
“It is contrary to established procedure and until such time that a common
position is communicated, the drafters must be left to carry out their work
Mangwana in turn accused Matinenga of interfering with the work of the
Constitutional Select Committee.
“I believe that you are exceeding your jurisdiction. We appointed the
Drafters as a Select Committee,” Mangwana told Matinenga.
“They (drafters) entered into a contract with us and not the Ministry. If
they are any problems between Copac as the Principal and the Drafters as
Agents, that will be resolved by Copac. Your unsolicited opinion is not
He added that Zanu PF was withdrawing its support for the drafting process
because it was proceeding in a manner prejudicial to its interests.
“I do not agree with the mandate the Drafters appear to have given
themselves and I have withdrawn my party’s consent to what they are doing,”
“The Select Committee is seized with this matter and it shall be
communicating its position to the Drafters.”
Zimbabwe is writing a new constitution is part of a raft of political
reforms expected to lead to new elections next year.
Once completed the constitution is expected to be put to a referendum,
leading to the polls.
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