Constitution Process Flawed – Civic Society

HARARE – Zimbabwe could be headed for a tumultous constitutional making process in the next 16 months, after the country's civic bodies warned on Monday that they would not take part in the process, which is driven by politics.\r\n

According to the Global Political Agreement (GPA), which was signed between ZANU PF and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in September last year, Zimbabwe first post independent constitution, will be spearheaded by parliament.

 

The input of civic bodies would be used only at sub-committee level.

Civic society groups, led by the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) say the process is flawed and that they will not be party to it.

Earnest Mudzengi, the director of the NCA, said the NCA will not take part in the process and blamed long time ally Morgan Tvangirai, MDC leader, for what he said was tantamount to giving up principles for political expediency.

The NCA said should government go ahead with the drafting of the new constitution, history would hold them accountable as there is bound to be need for the writing of a new constitution in future.
 

Wellington Chibhebhe, the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) said his organisation would also adopt NCA’s position. He said the new parliament driven constitution is not differnt from the Lancaster House Agreement which is the source of the current political paralysis.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) coordinator MacDonald Lewanika, said his organisation did not yet have a position with regards to the constitution at present, indicating that its position would be determined by a meeting to be held this week.

On Sunday, speaker of parliament Lovemore Moyo, unveiled a 25 member parliamentary select committee, drawn from ZANU PF and MDC, which will steer the constitutional making process.

The refusal to play ball by civic groups has put MDC leader Tsvangirai in an insidious position as his party was formed with the full participation of civic groups.