Zanu-PF rewrites Zim’s ‘careless’ draft constitution
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe’s party said on Thursday it was pushing
for a raft of changes to a draft constitution, meant to pave the way to new
elections to replace a rocky power-sharing regime.
“Of the six chapters we have reviewed, we have made a lot of changes because
we have discovered that the drafters had ignored what we instructed them to
do and 70% of their content was of their own invention,” Paul Mangwana,
Mugabe’s point man on the Constitution, said in the Herald newspaper.
“We have evidence that they were careless with their job and we had no
option than to make plenty of changes,” he said in the paper, which normally
reflects the views of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.
The paper has published what it said was a draft of the Constitution, which
included a two-term limit for president. That would prevent Mugabe from
running again, since he has been in power since 1980.
Mangwana said the party also wanted a clause to protect Mugabe’s land
reforms, which resettled black people on thousands of white-owned farms a
Zimbabwe’s three-year-old unity accord, which put Mugabe with his rival
Morgan Tsvangirai in a power-sharing government, requires a new constitution
with democratic reforms before holding new elections.
Jessie Majome, who represents Tsvangirai’s party on the drafting committee,
refuted Mangwana’s claims as “totally incorrect”.
“First of all we don’t have a draft except for the leaks of confidential
work-in-progress by people who are causing unnecessary confusion,
pandemonium and acrimony,” Majome said.
“The draft goes through several runs and at the moment there is nothing to
get excited about.”
“We should allow the process to progress without interference. We should not
be drafting in the public arena. This leaking is meant to influence the
process and it’s totally out of line.”
Work on the Constitution has run in fits and starts, hindered by attacks on
meetings by supporters’ of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.
Mugabe has pushed for new elections this year, but the constitution-drafting
commission says a referendum on the charter could not be held before August,
meaning that elections would likely not take place until next year. — AFP
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