Zanu-PF ‘hijacks constitution

May 28, 2012 at 10:40 am Leave a comment

JAMA MAJOLA 

ZANU-PF is trying to hijack the constitution-making process by imposing
wide-ranging unilateral amendments to the hotly contested draft constitution
produced by the select committee of parliament (Copac).

ZANU-PF is trying to hijack the constitution-making process by imposing
wide-ranging unilateral amendments to the hotly contested draft constitution
produced by the select committee of parliament (Copac).

The party wants to protect President Robert Mugabe and further its political
agenda ahead of elections it wants this year.

Copac has been riddled with infighting, chaos and endless disputes. The
process has so far gobbled up $45-million, with an additional $5-million
still needed. About $30-million has been set aside for the referendum on the
new constitution.

Zanu-PF has formed a team led by Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to
supervise the Copac process and try to force wholesale chances to the draft
constitution. The party also has a technical committee working with its
caucus of MPs involved in the process.

After fierce battles over the draft constitution, political parties involved
in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the coalition government
retreated for inter-party consultations.

However, Zanu-PF, through Mnangagwa’s team, came back with a long list of
proposed amendments which would fundamentally change the document to suit
the interests of Mugabe and their party.

This has created a new impasse, further jeopardising the process already on
the brink of collapse.

“The stalemate emerged after Zanu-PF came back from their inter-party
consultation process with substantive amendments that would change the draft
constitution in a significant way,” said Dr Alex Magaisa of Kent Law School
in the UK, who is involved in Copac.

“This comes after months of negotiations in which all parties, including
Zanu-PF, participated and agreed on the substance of the draft
constitution.” Zanu-PF’s decision-making politburo recently rejected the
draft constitution, claiming it was not based on people’s views and hence
the party’s attempt to revamp the draft.

The party is mainly worried about reform of the country’s overbearing
presidency, devolution of power and dual citizenship, which would reduce its
control and influence.

Zanu-PF politburo members have accused their party officials in Copac of
collaborating with MDC leaders to come up with provisions on term and age
limits to stop Mugabe from seeking re-election.

Senior politburo member Jonathan Moyo has hit out angrily at Copac leaders,
describing them as a “mafia” and their process as a “national disaster”.

Mugabe has demanded that Copac finish its process quickly or else he would
call for elections unilaterally.

The MDC-T this week attacked Zanu-PF for trying to hijack the
constitution-making process.

“Just a few weeks ago, Copac produced its first draft constitution and
everyone was happy that the long-awaited constitution was slowly becoming a
reality. Unfortunately Zanu-PF and its military junta have started making
determined efforts to derail this programme,” the MDC-T said. “Methods
employed by Zanu-PF to derail the programme include massive propaganda
against the process channelled through the state media, unwarranted attacks
on the donor community and the intimidation of the parliamentary select
committee members by some sections of the military.”

The MDC said Zanu PF was making “outrageous demands”, including that the
military should be allowed to play an active part in national politics; the
president should appoint commissions without parliamentary approval; there
should not be a constitutional court ; there should not be devolution of
power to the provinces; executive authority must only vest in the president;
the president shall not be answerable to parliament on deploying troops and
there shall be no proscription of violence in elections.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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