ZANU PF attempts to revise constitutional draft thwarted
By Tichaona Sibanda
A faction in ZANU PF is allegedly pushing for a wholesale revision of the
draft constitution, in an attempt to smuggle in a provision that allows
serving military officers to be active in political parties of their choice.
The current constitution in Zimbabwe prohibits members of the security
services to engage in partisan political activity. However, that has not
stopped the military elite from endorsing Robert Mugabe as a ZANU PF
presidential candidate in almost every election since independence.
The Zimbabwe Defence Act also prohibits any military personnel from engaging
in any partisan political activity. In a normal democracy any military
personnel found involved campaigning for political parties are dealt with
“This is unacceptable and find it very disturbing,” said Dewa Mavhinga, the
regional director for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.
He said Wednesday: “It is absolutely alarming that we are witnessing a rapid
militarization of the constitutional reform process. We hear now that the
army is pushing for recognition in the new draft for its members to become
involved in party structures of their choice, like having a Brigadier being
the district chairperson for ZANU PF.”
Speaking on SW Radio Africa’s Hidden Story program on Wednesday, Mavhinga
said the same faction in ZANU PF is attempting to scuttle the constitutional
process by handing in, at this eleventh hour, a position paper whose demands
It is believed this ZANU PF faction includes individuals like Jonathan Moyo
and Tafataona Mahoso, who have been vocal in opposing the new draft.
Mavhinga said attempts by this group to block the new draft seem to have
“The efforts have failed dismally and we want to continue on that track to
say it is not for Professor Jonathan Moyo to decide for Zimbabweans whether
or not their views are in the draft. It is for every Zimbabwean to read the
document, to interact with it and to decide for themselves, and reflect
their positions in a national referendum draft,” explained Mavhinga.
He said he believes the views of Zimbabweans cannot be assigned to a few
individuals to decide for them whether or not to accept the draft.
“This is the problem with some of these professionals who think they know
better than all Zimbabweans put together, who think they’re right to
prescribe to Zimbabweans what they think is correct,” Mavhinga said.
He added: “This thinking is driven by narrow parochial interests that seeks
to advance their positions in the belief that if Zimbabwe is to go to the
next election under an uneven political field, under the current Lancaster
House constitution, then it would retain the kind of regime that would
maintain the status quo, which is benefitting the same individuals.”
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