Zimbabwe Constitution Process Illegitimate – Tsvangirai

Harare,- Zimbabwe's constitution process while a step in the right direction is far from being legitimate because it was characterised by intimidation and violence, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said.\r\n

"It (constitution making process) does not pass the test of legitimacy because of what happened in the rural areas. There was operation chimumumu (shut up), people were ordered not to speak, there was violence," Tsvangirai said.

"I believe that people were not given the freedom to express themselves and therefore short changed. Yes (the constitution), is a step forward but not adequate."

Tsvangirai said about 85 percent of the issues raised in the current constitution making process were agreed across the political divide with the remaining 15 percent still being contested and open for negotiations.

Zimbabwe has since June been involved in a process to gathered views from ordinary people for a new constitution. However, the process was marred by delays, violent disturbances, shortage of resources and politicking.

The country is due to go for a referendum next year. There has been talk of holding elections next year as a way of solving the political stalemate that have been reached by the political parties that signed the GPA to form a new government.

South Africa’s President and Zimbabwe’s mediator, Jacob Zuma, is expected in Harare next week to try and solve the problems delaying full implementation of the GPA.