Zimbabwe on the brink of major political confilict

All eyes are focused on an extra-ordinary meeting of the ZANU PF politburo taking place this weekend, to discuss the way forward following the rejection of their amended draft constitution by the MDC formations.

 

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According to the state controlled Herald newspaper, the politburo will also tackle the issue of by-elections that are pending in over 38 constituencies, where vacancies exist due to deaths or expulsion of legislators that have occurred since 2008.

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Robert Mugabe is faced with a deadline imposed by the Supreme Court last month, in a ruling that focused on 3 constituencies and stipulated that he must call for by-elections by next Friday. Former legislators in the 3 constituencies had approached the courts for recourse after losing positions within their political parties.

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Some observers have expressed concern that if Mugabe and the politburo call for the by-elections next week, attention would shift away from the constitutional process that should be completed before elections can be held.

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ZPF politburo to meet over weekend as row over draft charter intensifies-

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Law expert Madock Chivasa from the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) told SW Radio Africa the MDC formations will have a hard time refusing to renegotiate ZANU PF’s amended draft charter, because the process guiding the exercise is a parliamentary process which stipulates that they must negotiate.

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Chivasa said the MDC formations should instead use the opportunity to correct the damage they inflicted on their political credibility, when they compromised too far on crucial issues to get agreement from ZANU PF.

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“Zimbabweans are now clear that parliamentarians negotiated and forgot what the people wanted, like the Diaspora vote and a president without too much power. This is a chance to negotiate these issues back into the charter,” Chivasa explained.

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Regarding the by-elections, Chivasa said Zimbabweans want to get the next general election over with and move ahead with their lives. He added that results from the by-elections would influence parliamentary voting for just a few months until the general elections bring in a more permanent crop of legislators.

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The Herald quotes ZANU PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo as saying the country might have to revert to the current constitution if the MDC formations refuse to re-negotiate the draft charter.

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“ZANU PF as a party is keen to have a new constitution for Zimbabwe. The party is also keen to ensure that we hold the next general elections under the new constitution. But if it is pushed to the corner, we may consider to revert to the old constitution,” Gumbo reportedly said.

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