SW Radio Africa (London)

14 February 2012

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF At War With Itself Over New Constitution

Photo: Ofeibea Quist-Arcton/allAfrica.com
Robert Mugabe.

Recriminations have broken out in ZANU PF over a clause contained in a draft constitution that appears to bar Robert Mugabe from seeking another term in office, as it emerged some within the party support the move.

Politburo member Jonathan Moyo and Paul Mangwana, representing ZANU PF in the drafting of the new charter, are openly at odds over the way in which a clause in the draft seeks to disqualify the ageing Mugabe. There was more drama on Monday when Goodwills Masimirembwa, who is acting as a special advisor to Mangwana, walked out of a special meeting to review draft chapters.

It is reported Masimirembwa branded Mangwana "a sell out" after his demand for a fresh start to the whole process was ignored. There is also an open war within the party over some of the clauses, especially the one that might prevent Mugabe from standing as a candidate.

That clause states that 'a person is disqualified for election as President if he or she has already held office for one or more periods, whether continuous or not, amounting to 10 years.' Mugabe is turning 88 in two weeks time and has served uninterrupted as President since 1987.

Moyo is even demanding the sacking of the three drafters, accusing them of producing a document that threatens the country's national security.

However analysts point to the fact that ZANU PF is fully represented in COPAC where 10 legislators have taken part in the constitution drafting from the start of the program. The MDC-T is represented by 10 MP's while the smaller formation of the MDC has two.

Douglas Mwonzora, co-COPAC chairman representing the MDC-T, told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that it is noticeable that ZANU PF is getting more and more critical of the draft document.

'I think it's because it contains things they personally do not want as a political party. That doesn't mean the clauses are wrong and did not come from the people, Mwonzora explained.

He said: 'These drafters are very experienced. They were suggested by ZANU PF itself. Names came via Mangwana and some of us had to go and consult over these names.'

The Nyanga North MP and party spokesman made it clear that Moyo is not qualified to talk about the drafting of the constitution as he is not a lawyer, adding: 'He's also not academically qualified to do so.'

See COPAC Draft Constitution of Zimbabwe 2012-1.pdf

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InFocus

Zimbabwe: Disagreement Over Constitution

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