Draft constitution held up by disagreements

The release of the final draft constitution is being held up by disagreements over some contentious issues in the new charter, SW Radio Africa learned on Monday. COPAC had promised earlier this month that a draft constitution would be ready soon after the Easter break.

Elton Mangoma
Elton Mangoma

A highly placed source told us they expect the six-member COPAC management committee to meet sometime at the beginning of this week.

The same body met a week ago but failed to agree on the devolution of power, the Executive structure and dual citizenship.

‘The latest stalemate can be blamed on ZANU PF. They are not speaking with one voice because of serious infighting. Another reason is that they are damn scared of elections. COPAC has finished drafting the new charter, but its not presentable to the principals if not complete. There needs to be consensus on the three issues in dispute, or the unresolved issues mean a delay in presenting a draft of the constitution to the three principals,’ our source said.

Our correspondent in Harare, Simon Muchemwa, said factionalism in ZANU PF is now playing a big part in the delay in releasing the draft to the public.

‘There is a faction in ZANU PF that wants the death penalty to be included in the new charter and another that is against it. You have two factions that are literally worlds apart over dual citizenship and devolution. The problem with these factional fights is that these people are not looking at 30 to 40 years from now, but what they stand to gain from issues arising from the constitution. This is why you have certain individuals from these factions pushing their own agendas,’ Muchemwa said.

Our correspondent said if the management committee declares a deadlock on the problematic issues, the principals might be roped in to try and bridge their differences.

The committee members from the three parties are Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma of the MDC-T, ZANU PF’s Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche and MDC-N’s Moses Mzila-Ndlovu and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga. SW Radio Africa

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