Stand-off won’t derail constitutional reform: Minister

Matinenga told APA that the fallout between the MDC and ZANU PF over unfulfilled Global Political Agreement (GPA) issues and last week’s re-arrest of deputy agriculture minister-designate Roy Bennett would not affect the ongoing process to consult the public on the drafting of a new constitution for Zimbabwe.

“Nothing will change in terms of the constitution-making process because the MDC’s decision only means that the party is disengaging from ZANU PF and not from the people of Zimbabwe who we will continue to engage with,” Matinenga, a member of the main MDC faction led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said here.

He, however, did not say how members of the parliamentary select committee and a separate management committee tasked with drafting the new supreme law would relate to each other in the wake of the MDC’s decision to cut off ties with ZANU PF.

The 25-member parliamentary select committee comprises legislators from the two MDC factions and ZANU PF.

Tsvangirai last Friday declared a deadlock in efforts to resolve sticking issues affecting the country’s eight-month-old coalition government and announced that his party was withdrawing from the power-sharing regime until all problems are addressed.

The premier said the MDC was suspending cooperation with ZANU PF and would boycott all cabinet meetings until outstanding issues from a power-sharing agreement between the two parties are resolved.

The outstanding GPA issues include Mugabe’s unilateral appointment of central bank governor Gideon Gono and attorney general Johannes Tomana as well as delays by the 85-year-old veteran leader in swearing-in provincial governors and ambassadors several months after an agreement was reached on these appointments.