Draft Constitution: MDCs cannot ignore Zanu-PF’s amendments
Saturday, 18 August 2012 01:44
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
THE two MDC formations will have to consider proposed amendments to the draft constitution
by Zanu-PF if the writing of the new supreme law is to be successfully concluded, political analysts have said.
The Zanu-PF Politburo produced its proposals on Thursday after going through the draft in the past three weeks and said they would hand it over to the principals for consideration.
Analysts interviewed yesterday said the whole process hinged on unanimity among the three parties, Zanu-PF and the MDC formations, making it impossible for any party or parties to proceed without the other.
“The whole process is defective as it is dependant on the unanimity of the three parties and if anyone of them says no that will be the end of it,” said University of Zimbabwe law lecturer, Professor Lovemore Madhuku.
“Each of the three parties has veto power, so to say, that is why we wanted the constitution-making process to be led by independent people.
“I don’t know how the other parties will react but it is clear that all the three have to be in agreement.”
Zanu-PF concluded its audit of the draft against the national report and made a number of recommendations that were not adequately captured in the draft. The revolutionary party rejected the issue of presidential running mates and want Vice Presidents to be appointed.
It also rejected attempts to dilute the power of the Attorney-General through the setting up of a separate national prosecuting authority and wants the law to explicitly outlaw homosexuality and same sex marriages.
Zanu-PF also wants dual citizenship to be outlawed and bring clarity to the role of traditional leaders, women and youths.
Another political analyst Dr Charity Manyeruke echoed similar sentiments saying there was no way Zanu-PF views would be ignored.
“They have to consider what Zanu-PF is saying because the process is clear that the draft had to be presented to the principals and as you know those principals have their constituencies and those constituencies are the respective political parties. This was done and for the MDC-T, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai went to his party and they said they accepted the draft, the same was done with the other MDC.
“However, for Zanu-PF when President Mugabe took the draft to his party they proposed those amendments so it is imperative that the principals sit down and consider those amendments otherwise the whole process grinds to a halt,” she said.
Dr Manyeruke said the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference would not be successfully convened if Zanu-PF views were not taken on board.
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora said he would not comment on the issue of the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference but reiterated that there was no room for further negotiations following the production of the draft.
“We will see when we come to that stage but the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference is arranged in terms of the GPA,” he said.
On the issue of proposed amendments by Zanu-PF he said: “We have not heard from Zanu-PF but Article 6 of the GPA is clear that after the production of the draft it is referred to the Second All-Stakeholders Conference and there is no provision for amendments by parties because doing so would be tantamount to rewriting the draft.”
MDC deputy spokesperson Mr Kurauone Chihwayi said his party was also against adopting the proposals.
“Our national executive met two weeks ago and came up with a position that we will not renegotiate the draft constitution and that the people of Zimbabwe should now be given a chance to accept or reject the constitution.
“We also said if there are any amendments to be made that will come from the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference,” he said.
He, however, said the matter could be taken up with the Sadc-appointed facilitator on Zimbabwe dialogue, South African president Jacob Zuma, to ensure that the process proceeds amicably.
Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity Cde Rugare Gumbo said it was folly for anyone to rule out consideration of their proposals.
“The problem is that some of us pretend to have power that we do not have, whatever they are saying is not going to work. The power is in the principals and let’s not fool ourselves saying they will not budge or will not do this or that. We have said we made our recommendations and handed them to the principals and it is up to them to make a decision,” Cde Gumbo said.