11 December 2012

Zimbabwe: PM Insists On Principals' Role in Constitution-Making

THE MDC-T national executive met in Bindura at the weekend to clear internal problems over the role of principals in the Constitution-making process. The party made a resolution in September that it would not open any negotiation with other parties in the inclusive Government over the Copac draft Constitution.

However, party leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai insisted that he and other Global Political Agreement principals have a role to play in the process.

In this regard, sources said the Bindura meeting was hastily convened to come up with a common position following the formation of a leaner committee by the principals to deal with all contested issues in the Second All Stakeholders' Conference report.

It is understood that the meeting cleared all the issues and the remaining ones were whittled down to four, paving way for a possible breakthrough before Christmas.

"Yes, the executive met in Bindura over the weekend, more importantly to deal with the discord in the party regarding the role of principals in the Constitution-making process.

"Remember the party had taken a position that we should adopt the Copac draft in its entirety. However, the president insisted that the principals have a role to play in the process.

"This internal discord between the president and the national executive was cleared at the weekend thereby empowering MDC-T committee members to adopt a more constructive approach to the whole matter," said the source.

The source said some MDC-T executive members, who were plotting unseat Mr Tsvangirai through the Constitution-making process, were irked by the involvement of the principals in the process.

This prompted Mr Tsvangirai, through his spokesperson Mr William Bango, to tell his lieutenants that principals have always been part of the Constitution-making process through the management committee which is not a provision of the GPA.

The principals two weeks ago formed a committee to expeditiously deal with the contested issues in the Second All Stakeholders' report and it was supposed to meet yesterday.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, who chairs the committee, said he requested for the postponement of the meeting.

He said the committee would reconvene today.

"We were supposed to meet today (yesterday), but I am going to attend the burial of (Mr Ian) Makone's daughter so we are now meeting tomorrow (today) morning," he said.

The committee is expected to make its submission to the principals who would have the final say before the draft is taken to Parliament.

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