Zanu PF struggling for agreement on new Constitution

HARARE – Embattled former ruling party Zanu-PF’s Politburo was late last night locked in a crisis explosive meeting where the party’s highest decision-making body outside congress was once expected to come up with its final position on the Copac draft Constitution amid reports of escalating tensions

The MDC-T last week said in terms of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), the constitution-making process had reached a point of no-return for Zanu PF.

Yesterday’s meeting was the third in as many weeks by the party’s top decision-making body outside congress to deliberate on the draft. After the initial meeting, Zanu PF negotiator Patrick Chinamasa said the party had endorsed 97% of the draft. 

But in the past few days hawks, led by Tsholotsho MP Jonathan Moyo, have trashed the entire document, saying it was a threat to Zimbabwe’s sovereignty.

At the weekend, Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo exposed the party’s plans to reject the draft at the 60th birthday bash for Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo in Zvimba. 

“You know that all the views you expressed during the outreach programme have been stolen,” he told the more than 3 000 guests. 

“It is very dangerous and we will come up with a position on Wednesday (today) as a party.”

\r\n

Khaya Moyo said the promptness with which the two MDC formations in the inclusive government endorsed the draft was suspicious.

“As Zanu PF, we were shocked at the speed at which the two MDC parties endorsed the draft document,” he said. “When did they read it?”

\r\n

If Zanu PF rejects the draft, the constitution-making process is likely to be thrown off the rails ahead of the Sadc summit in Mozambique on August 17 and 18 where Zimbabwe would be under the spotlight. 

The MDC-T and MDC have already endorsed the draft and warned that Zanu PF has no room to reject it. Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T co-chairperson of Parliament’s Constitution Select Committee (Copac), said Zanu PF could only decampaign the draft during the referendum. 

“It’s up to (President Robert) Mugabe and his Zanu PF party to reject the draft through a referendum,” he said.

“The GPA requires the Select Committee to produce a draft constitution, which it has done and will be presented to the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference and then subjected to a referendum.”