Zanu-PF says no to draft constitution - Times LIVE
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Zanu-PF says no to draft constitution

HARARE CORRESPONDENT | 2012-04-22 00:17:27.0

Zanu-PF refuses to endorse the new draft constitution as it contains clauses that could disfavour the party, including the issue of presidential term limits.

The party, said to be prepared to launch a no-vote campaign against the draft, is also unhappy with the scrapping of the posts of two vice-presidents, the appointment of service chiefs by an independent body and the devolution of powers.

Sources at the Committee of Parliament on the New Constitution (Copac) said late last week that it was taking too long for a decision to be made on "minor" issues.

The committee comprises negotiators from Zanu-PF and both formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The draft constitution seeks to bar anyone who has been president for more than 10 years.

Mugabe has been at the helm for 32.

Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said his party would not agree to a constitution, which barred Mugabe from standing in the elections.

Gumbo also revealed that Zanu-PF would reject the draft if it contained a clause scrapping the posts of two vice-presidents.

"We have said that there is no way devolution will come into play. We have a central government and it must remain as such. Our position on the vice-presidents' posts is that we maintain the two VPs. Appointment of the security chiefs is done by the president," said Gumbo.

MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said that it was too late to tinker with the draft constitution, adding that the new constitution had already been done, with minor issues to be concluded by the management committee.

"We have written the draft. Only four issues are left. These will be decided by the management committee," said Mwonzora.

He cited these issues as citizenship, devolution, the death penalty and land.

"The issue of the two VPs is minor and can be settled by giving discretion to the sitting president. But the MDC will appoint only one VP," said Mwonzora.

Mwonzora said Zimbabweans had been very clear about what they wanted and political parties should respect the wishes of the people.

He said people had indicated during outreach programmes that they were in favour of the devolution of powers.

"Negotiators should concentrate on the structure of government. On the death penalty, we should be guided by international trends. The problem is that there are some people in Zanu-PF who do not want to make changes, which will displease Mugabe, even if they believe in them," he said.

Mwonzora said bringing SADC facilitators into the process would be the height of failure.


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