Cabinet fully behind drafting of new constitution

Despite protestations from ZANU PF that a draft constitution recently ‘leaked’ to the media seeks to bar Robert Mugabe from seeking re-election, a recent cabinet meeting gave the process its full backing.

Eric Matinenga
Eric Matinenga

Eric Matinenga, the Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that they don’t have a deadlock in the drafting of a new constitution and it’s business as usual.

‘I presented a report on the whole process to cabinet recently and it was well received. I wouldn’t want to refer to the leaked document as a draft but a working document,’ Matinenga said.

He continued: ‘It’s still a mere working document that needs to be interrogated by the select committee before they engage the three drafters. And only at the end of that exercise can we hopefully have the first draft.’

He added: ‘There are going to be many changes, compromises, alterations and additions, so people should not make noise before reading a complete draft.’

Tempers have already flared from within the ZANU PF camp, with accusations that the process is specifically targeting its leader from standing as a presidential candidate.

They claim that one of the clauses in the draft was inserted with the ageing Mugabe in mind. The clause in question says ‘a person is disqualified for election as President if he or she has already held office for one or more periods, whether continuous or not, amounting to 10 years.’

As a result ZANU PF officials want the constitution-making exercise abandoned, claiming it has failed. Didymus Mutasa, the ZANU PF secretary for administration, claimed representatives from their party in COPAC who allowed that clause to sail through have gone off the party route.

He chastised them for acting in bad faith, saying they ‘are not bigger than ZANU PF’ according to an interview with the Daily News.

‘Why do they want to block our president from standing? Who do they think they are? Why are they trying to play around with the constitution? Those people are not doing what ZANU PF agreed on. Please, make it very clear that ZANU PF is greater than them,’ Mutasa told the paper. SW Radio Africa

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