Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Principals in the inclusive Government will have the final say on the draft constitution to be tabled at the second all stakeholders conference scheduled for next month.
Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo said in an interview yesterday that recommendations on amendments would be brought to the principals for a final draft.
The three political parties to the GPA are already meeting separately to come up with their positions on the new charter.
Already the Zanu-PF Politburo, which met on Friday and is scheduled to hold another meeting on Wednesday, has said there should be some amendments on certain clauses of the draft.
The MDC formations also had a look at the document and recommended its adoption.
The MDC-T national executive is expected to forward the recommendation to the national council set to meet on Friday.
But MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora said political parties should not be allowed to open new issues on the draft constitution.
He said any objections should be brought to the second all stakeholders conference.
Cde Gumbo said the suggetion seemed to indicate that Mr Mwonzora was not aware of the process.
“It is not the second all stakeholders conference that decides on amendments we have recommended,” he said. “He (Mr Mwonzora) does not seem to understand the whole process.
“We have made our recommendations as the Politburo and we will have the party’s final position on Wednesday.
“After that, our members in the management committee will take the document to their colleagues in the MDC formations. If they agree, the document will then be taken to the principals.
Cde Gumbo said the principals will either accept the document as accurately capturing the views of the people or dismiss it.
“After that, we will have the second all stakeholders conference. If they (MDC formations) do not want the principals to have their input, what was the purpose of making reference to them?”
Cde Gumbo said Zanu-PF would not allow the document to just sail through without being subjected to thorough scrutiny by the political parties.
“In our case as Zanu-PF, we do things after thorough consultations with the party structures,” he said.
“About 97 percent of the draft is okay, but we want to make sure that we iron out some loose ends on it. These are key issues, but generally the party is supportive of the draft constitution.”
Cde Gumbo said the Zanu-PF principal, President Mugabe, was a qualified lawyer and he wanted all things to be clarified.
Asked on the impasse on party positions regarding the draft constitution, Cde Gumbo said: “Whether it becomes an impasse or not that is immaterial. What we are saying is that views of the people should be fully taken into account.”
But Mr Mwonzora said it was wrong for political parties to engage in continuous negotiations.
“The process of negotiations was concluded. Therefore, anything has to come to the second all stakeholders conference,” he said.
“It will be wrong to engage in a continuous process. If parties are allowed to open issues that have been concluded, there will be no end to this process.
MDC spokesperson, Mr Kurauone Chihwayi, said the party’s national executive was yet to meet.
But preliminary indications were that they were in favour of the draft’s form and content, he said.
“That was a people-driven process and no external views were imported,” said Mr Chihwayi.
“The document is a Zimbabwean project authored by Zimbabweans. The MDC will certainly push for a yes vote. Zimbabwe has to move forward and no party is bigger than the people of Zimbabwe.”
Mr Chihwayi said inclusive Government principals had no right to revise the draft constitution because “it contains the people’s views”.
“Whoever has a query will have to raise it at the national all stakeholders’ conference,” he said.
University of Zimbabwe political scientist Dr Charity Manyeruke said the draft constitution was still open to criticism.
“The document is subject to amendments at any point in time whether the amendments are coming from political parties or civic organisations or any other group,” she said.
“This constitution is for Zimbabweans by Zimbabweans. It should reflect the real values and principles of the people of Zimbabwe.”
Dr Manyeruke said it was too early for political parties to declare that the draft constitution was final.
Constitutional lawyer Professor Lovemore Madhuku said the draft constitution was defective.
He said his National Constitutional Assembly would mobilise people to vote against it in the referendum.
“We are going to vote for a NO. We believe it is wrong to have a constitution from politicians,” he said.