Zanu disputes draft

ZANU PF’s co-chairman of COPAC, Paul Mangwana, has been heavily criticised for trying to destroy the integrity and reputation of drafters, whom he alleged were ignoring reports gathered from the outreach program.

ZANU PF believes their supporters contributed the most during the outreach program, but critics say most of those contributions were unusable for a constitution.

In the last two days the media has been reporting that Mangwana accused the drafters of tampering with views gathered during last year’s public outreach process. The former ruling party has also allegedly lost faith in the drafters. But Mangwana’s remarks have been rebuked by politicians from other parties in the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

The three drafters are legal experts in their own right, with over 60 years of combined experience. The drafters working on the new constitution are former High Court Judge, Justice Moses Chinhengo and constitutional experts Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crozier. The trio are considered to be among the best legal drafters in the field.

It’s believed the drafters have so far written four sections of the new basic document on principles, citizenship, a bill of rights and Zimbabwe's territory. ZANU PF is apparently unhappy that their supporters contributions in rural areas have been considered of little use in the new constitution.

This has enraged Mangwana who accuses the drafters of pushing the positions of the two formations of the MDC, for instance on the issue of dual citizenship. Zimbabwe is the only country in SADC which does not allow dual citizenship.

Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said Mangwana is the one who told the drafters not to include things they saw as unconstitutional, but now he is backtracking. Most of the views discarded favoured ZANU PF.

To prove Mangwana’s about turn and lack of clarity, video footage showing him briefing drafters how they should approach sensitive issues has been leaked to the media.

‘In the footage, Mangwana is clearly heard telling the drafters not to include issues that are not constitutional in the new charter. He actually gives an example of Mutoko were ZANU PF views advocated for women not to wear trousers. He said such issues were not constitutional and would never make it into a constitution. He states clearly that when faced with such issues, they, as legal drafters would use their discretion to come up with what they considered the best draft,’ Muchemwa said.

Analysts told us it is clear at this time that many of the views contributed by ZANU PF could not be contained in any new constitution.

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