Statement on the state of the constitution making process in Zimbabwe

The new democratic people driven constitution is one of the deliverables of the Global Political agreement. For over three years Parliament through the Parliamentary Select committee has been working on this programme.

The Government of Zimbabwe as well as the development partners have invested millions of dollars into this process. Just a few weeks ago, Copac produced its first draft constitution and everyone was happy that the long awaited constitution was slowly becoming a reality. Unfortunately Zanu PF and its military junta have started making determined efforts to derail this program.

Methods employed by Zanu PF to derail the program include massive propaganda against the process channelled through the state media, unwarranted attacks on the donor community and the intimidation of the Parliamentary Select Committee members by some sections of the military.

Recently Zanu PF brought to Copac what it termed its position paper in a bid to drastically change not only agreed positions but the views of the people. Zanu PF pretends as if it was not part and parcel of this first draft constitution.

It is common knowledge that Copac embarked on a comprehensive outreach program in which it sought to solicit the views of the people of Zimbabwe. At the end of that program Copac had national data comprising data gathered at outreach meetings, views from all Zimbabweans at home and abroad.

Views from the outreach program were compiled by an inter party technical team and that marked the drafting stage. The constitutional draft which today, Zanu PF tries to disown is a product of the three GNU political parties.

Below is a summary of the outrageous demands by Zanu PF:

• That the military should be allowed to play an active part in national politics.

• That the president should appoint commissions without parliamentary approval.

• That there should not be a constitutional court as demanded by the people.

• That there should not be devolution of power to the provinces.

• That executive authority must only vest in the president as opposed to the president and cabinet.

• That there shall be no proscription of violence in elections.

• That the president shall not be answerable to parliament on deploying troops within and without Zimbabwe.

• That there should not be any constitutional limit to the number of ministerial posts a president can appoint.

These demands run contrary to the wishes of the people of Zimbabwe.

The MDC applauds the management committee’s resolve to tackle this problem next week.

The consequences of Zanu PF’s actions as follows:

1. Zanu PF is clear that the people of Zimbabwe will overwhelmingly vote for the draft constitution.

2. Continued use of the current Lancester House constitution that has a bias towards Mugabe and Zanu PF.

3. More political chaos as the people will reject the heavily patched constitution.

As a people’s party, the MDC calls for the respect and fulfillment of the people’s aspirations as far as the constitution making process is concerned.

The people’s struggle for real change – Let’s finish!!!

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