Mukachana Hanyani — The world over, coalition governments negotiate on all issues that matter for national development and any party, which deviates from such an important national duty, becomes a sellout and a disgrace. In negotiations, there is no need to celebrate a stalemate and get a situation where a vote can be called to diffuse a stalemate. Parties involved in negotiations should not allow themselves to reach a stalemate.
Once a supposed stalemate is arrived at, they should go back to the drawing board and restrategise in order to break the stalemate.
Zimbabwe is facing a delicate situation that calls for an understanding among those political parties in the inclusive Government to complete amicably the Constitution-making process.
There is still room to negotiate and come up with a draft Constitution that would be acceptable to the people. Constitution-making should be respected by all political parties.
It should not divide Zimbabweans along political lines. People should put the interests of the country first ahead of partisan interests.
Political parties come and go, the same with people, but Zimbabwe will remain for the future generations to come, and hence, political parties' interests should not destroy the Constitution-making process.
As such, the interests of political parties must not be allowed to take centre stage. Once political parties and few individuals fight to own the draft constitution, our country would be doomed.
The economic progress that was beginning to take shape in the country would also be doomed.
The political bickering which has pre-occupied political parties in the inclusive Government could be eliminated if the parties involved allow negotiations to resume.
Since there is disagreement on the way forward concerning the new constitution, political parties should negotiate and come to a compromise.
Political games cannot help the country move forward. As such political parties should not rush into declaring a stalemate and then call for elections when the room for a compromise is still there.
A "Yes" vote campaign for the draft Constitution launched by MDC-T on September 8, 2012, at Zimbabwe Grounds by MDC-T is premature since there is still work that needs to be done. The confrontational approach on the draft constitution, which had started quite well, does not help.
The problem with political parties drafting constitution for the country is that parties' interests supersede people's interests. Now that MDC-T believes that the draft constitution favours its interests, the party is failing to listen to what Zanu-PF is saying.
A negotiated draft Constitution should not be treated like what is happening now. Political parties should not rush into campaigning for a "Yes" vote when there is still a long way to go.
Since the Tanzanian president, Jakaya Kikwete has already indicated that the Sadc Troika which, deals with peace and security issues would, discuss the constitution at their next meeting in October 2012, the MDC-T should have waited for such an important meeting before the launch of the "Yes" vote campaign.
While MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai argues that there is no need for Zanu-PF to amend the draft constitution since Zanu-PF was represented at all stages of negotiations, the fact that the draft ended up in the hands of the principals, shows that being signatories to the GPA, they have the final say.
Tsvangirai should not mislead the public into believing that the draft that was negotiated by the three political parties' representatives need not be amended by the principals.
The principals have the final, which is why it was presented to them. Had it been that the principals have no say, then there was no need to have the draft presented to them.
MDC-T knows quite well that the issue of the draft constitution still needs the three principals to diffuse the deadlock through negotiations, but he just wants to pretend as if that is not the case.
MDC-T's rush into a "Yes" vote campaign is meant to mislead the public into endorsing a half-backed constitution.
There is no need to trick people into referendum campaign when very important issues like the Second All Stakeholders Conference are yet to be convened.
The problem with Tsvangirai is that he is always overwhelmed by the presence of many people at any given time and he ends up saying things, which he would not have prepared for.
It is good for MDC-T to respect the process which the party committed itself to, if it really wants relevance.
Hanyani is a Harare-based political analyst.