25 January 2013

Zimbabwe: I Outwitted the MDCs - Mugabe

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe allegedly bragged at Wednesday's politburo meeting that he had outwitted the MDC leaders on contentious issues which were stalling the constitution-making process.

Mugabe said Zanu PF was celebrating victory over the MDCs after he successfully arm-twisted MDC-T and MDC leaders Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube to agree to the controversial agreement seen as safeguarding Zanu PF's interests.

"Mugabe boasted that he outwitted Tsvangirai and Ncube because the parked issues relieve the party of unnecessary pressure from the MDCs," said a high-ranking Zanu PF official. "He said it was a Zanu PF victory which should be celebrated by all."

The politburo endorsed the agreement and agreed to support the draft constitution in the referendum.

The issues whose postponement would be reflected in the latest draft had been pushed for by the MDCs, but Zanu PF came up with a raft of controversial amendments, some of which eventually prevailed.

According to the principals' deal which broke the governance charter deadlock last week, the issue of running-mates would be shelved for 10 years from the date the new constitution comes into effect while the constitutional court can only be constituted after 10 years.

The Peace and Reconciliation Commission would exist for 10 years, after which it would be up to the government of the day to put it through an Act of parliament.

The draft constitution also provides a waiver on timelines within which Mugabe can call for elections soon after the adoption of the new governance charter on the basis that the principals did not know when the constitution-making process would be completed.

Mugabe instructed the politburo to start campaigning for the party in preparation for elections which he said would be held this year without fail.

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