The Herald (Harare)

24 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Constitution: Pact Gets Nod

ZANU-PF has endorsed agreements made by principals on sticky issues that had stymied the constitution-making process.

The revolutionary party says it will support the draft constitution during the referendum to be held on a date yet to be announced.

The endorsement was made following a Politburo meeting held at the party's headquarters in Harare yesterday.

"We looked at the agreement reached by principals on the constitution and we fully endorse the agreement," Zanu-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Rugare Gumbo said yesterday.

"We are going to do everything in our power to ensure that we go to the referendum and the general election."

The principals resolved the outstanding issues that had stalled the completion of the constitution last year.

The amendments have since been incorporated into the draft constitution.

This came about after Zanu-PF raised a number of concerns with the initial draft that Copac produced amid indications that they had deviated from the people's views gathered during the outreach programme.

Some of the concerns have since been addressed in the agreed draft.

Cde Gumbo also took a swipe at criticism by Mavambo president Dr Simba Makoni that the agreement on the constitution was serving the interests of Zanu-PF and the MDC formations and not the generality of the Zimbabweans.

"It is not surprising (Dr Makoni's criticism). He does not have people and does not have any responsibility, so what should we expect from him?

"We have a responsibility, we went out on an outreach programme to find out what people wanted and that is what is in the proposed constitution and that is what was agreed upon.

"What else does he want? Which people is he talking about? What is he representing? He represents nothing but himself and I don't think he has any support at all to talk about; we are talking of millions of people who came out with these ideas," said Cde Gumbo.

The Politburo, he said, also discussed the party's manifesto and said it would be based on the ongoing empowerment drive.

"It is going to be based on the theme of our last conference which is 'Indigenise, Empower, Develop and Create Employment'," he said.

Cde Gumbo added that the Politburo also conducted a post-mortem of the conference that was held in Gweru last year.

"The conference went on very well indeed, we discussed that. We also received a report from the Commissariat which touched on a wide range of issues mainly focusing on restructuring our cells and villages.

"We were mainly focused on cells and villages because that is where the people are," he said.

Cde Gumbo, however, said discussions on rules and regulations governing the conduct of primary elections would be held at a later date while the investigations on alleged corruption by senior officials in the party's Manicaland provincial executive had also been deferred.

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