Proposed Draft Constitution Could See President Prosecuted: Biti
Harare,-MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti says President can no longer deploy tropes and unanimously or declare war under the new constitution which vests those powers to parliament adding that if endorsed Mugabe will be liable for prosecution for offences he committed during or after his tenure of office.
“If he declares war yes ,he can order soldiers to shoot back, but he has to go to parliament within seven seating days and both houses must have two thirds saying yes we must go to war. Then the real power to declare war rests in parliament. I am told this is what ZANU (PF) does not want. On Wednesday they left that house (meeting) at around 12 in the morning and the other day they left at around 1 in the morning,” MDC-T Secretary General Tendai Biti told Reporters Friday in Harare.
Biti told the meeting organised by the Media Centre to make journalists get an appreciation of issues which ZANU (PF) is against in the draft constitution.
President Mugabe in 1998 deployed 11 000 troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help in stopping a Tutsi-led rebellion, trained Interahamwe Hutu militias fighting Tutsis in the Great Lakes region.
But critics said the ZANU (PF) administration then did this without consulting citizens, arguing that the deployed soldiers were being paid by tax payers’ money, and up to now the amount which was used to pay the soldiers remain unknown.
Biti said if Mugabe is elected in office on the forthcoming elections under the new constitution he will be liable for prosecution for crimes he committed before, when and after his tenure of office.
“This constitution does not apply retrospectively that is why the two term office which we have done does not apply to prevent Mugabe from contesting for the next election. Suppose Zimbabweans are mad enough to vote for Mugabe it now mean that he is bound by the wide provisions of this constitution .So when he leaves office he will be prosecuted for Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, because the constitution is now applying introspectively,”Biti added.
Currently ZANU (PF) is still debating the contents of the draft constitution with the aim of coming up with a common position.
The party met last week Friday and failed to reach a consensus. The party held another meeting Wednesday and again failed to agree on position.
Contacted for comment on the party’s Draft constitution through a telephone Friday ZANU (PF) spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said, “I cannot tell you until we have held another meeting next week.”
The two MDC formations in the inclusive government have already endorsed the draft constitution.