Zanu (PF) Presents Totally New "Final Draft"

Zanu (PF) has now bared its ugly face, making it clear that it was never serious about a new constitution nor about free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

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Despite all the going back and forth by the Constitutional negotiators and the management committee, pretending that they were consulting and agreeing on the constitution, they have gone and totally overhauled the final draft that had been negotiated.

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Analysts have said that the final draft, reportedly also approved by Zanu (PF) President Robert Mugabe,  showed that it has always been Zanu (PF)’s intention to waste time and finally settle on disagreement on the Constitution, when the term of the current parliament has expired, in order to justify going to elections without a new constitution.

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Zanu (PF) would then be able to use the same tactics that  it has always used previously to win elections, gerrymandering, intimidation, and rigging, with the assistance of a Constitution that allows President Mugabe to be a candidate and a referee at the same time.

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According to MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti, the new Zanu (PF) draft is an assault and insult to the ideas of decency, equality, justice and democracy that all modern societies should be founded upon.

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The MDC has already said that there is no more room for negotiating the constitution, and that if Zanu (PF) wants the people to consider its draft it can put it in the referendum side by side with the Copac draft and allow the people to decide which constitution they prefer.

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MDC splinter group  President Welshman Ncube said the Zanu (PF) draft:

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1. Removed devolution entirely from the draft and deleted all references to devolution.

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2. Removed the Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

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3. Removed all indigenous languages from being official languages.

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4. Introduced mandatory national youth service.

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5. Removed the open, transparent and public interview process for the appointment of judges and replaced it with a Presidential appointment system.

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6. Did away with a separate Constitutional Court and replaced it with the status qou in terms of which the Supreme Court doubles up as a Constitutional Court.

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7. Banned dual citizenship for those who are Zimbabwean citizens by descent or registration.

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8.Mutilated the Bill of rights in many places including by deleting all references to democratic society,

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9. Redefined agricultural land to include any land used for poultry so that they would be able to take any building used to rear chickens.

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10. Taken out the Presidential running mate provisions and replaced them with the current system with the new provision that in the event of the office becoming vacant the replacement will be chosen by the party to which the President belonged.

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11. Reposed all executive authority in the President by deleting the provision which vested it in the President and Cabinet.

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12. Reconstituted the imperial Presidency by restoring virtually all the current Presidential powers and even added the new provision that Cabinet can only exercise authority under the direction of the President.

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13. Restored the current Presidential immunity provisions.

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14. Restored the Presidential power to declare war without any restraint or constraint

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15. Made all state institutions subject to the obligation to promote and defend the values of the liberation struggle

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16. Stripped the Speaker of the National Assembly of all administrative powers and vested these in the Clerk of Parliament.

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17. Increased the composition of Senate by four.

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18. Re-introduced unfettered Powers of the President to dissolve Parliament at his or her whim.

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19. Put one Chief into the Judicial Service Commission.

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20. Removed provisions limiting Permanent Secretaries to two five year terms.

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21. Taken out the provisions requiring a law regulate the CIO and requiring the CIO to be non partisan, professional and national in character.

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22. Inserted provisions which require independent commissions and the judiciary as well to promote and to be guided by the ideals and values of the liberation struggle.

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23. Re-introduced the useless and failed office of Public Protector.

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24..Removed the democratic provisions for the appointment of the anti corruption commission.

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25. And deleted the provisions establishing an independent prosecuting authority and reestablished the present political office of attorney general.

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The stage now seems set for the inevitable confrontation, with fears that if the regional body SADC does not intervene in a robust way sooner rather than later, Zimbabwe will break into another cycle of violence, more dangerous than the 2008 violence in which the MDC says more than 500 people were killed. – Changezimbabwe

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