Copac co-chairperson, Douglas Mwo-nzora, said the revision of 12 out of the 17 chapters was completed last Thursday, while the remaining chapters would be concluded by mid-week, in time for the publication of the final draft by the end of the month. He said Chapter 5, which deals with the principles of devolution, was merged with Chapter 14, which outlines the structures of devolution, and sets out the criteria for selecting provincial governments and their jurisdiction.
“We have unpacked devolution. It will be in the constitution in accordance with the wishes of the people,” said Mwonzora.
President Robert Mugabe told the annual meeting of traditional chiefs in Bulawayo last month that the country was too small to be divided into “pieces”, while describing devolution as divisive. His spokesperson, George Charamba, has also questioned some clauses in the draft constitution saying they sought to relegate Zimbabwe from its sovereign status to a non-State government by foreign laws. Charamba said the devolution being pushed in the draft constitution was impossible in a unitary state and suggested that its proponents were advocating for future secession.
Meanwhile Mwonzora, who is also the MDC-T spokesperson, said his party was dismayed by the upsurge in cases of violence across the country being targeted at mostly the poor and supporters of his party.
Cases of violence in the last month have been reported in Mbare, Sunningdale, Zaka, Bikita and Sanyati. Mwonzora said a senior Zanu PF official linked to the Mbare militia outfit, Chipangano, recently uttered statements ostensibly threatening Marondera Central MP, Ian Kay and “the whites in Marondera” with death.
He said the MDC takes such threats seriously as more than 200 of its members were murdered in 2008 in the run up to the bloody June Presidential election runoff.
“We call on the Police to arrest the official and charge him with threatening the peace of Marondera residents, threatening a person with death, and for promoting terrorism,” said Mwonzora.
He said suspected Zanu PF supporters who torched centenarian headman Zimunya Muonde’s homestead and farming equipment in Bikita recently should also be arrested as the culprits were well-known in the area.
The MDC-T spokesperson said the coalition government should deal with the issue of violence before elections are held. Zanu PF has insisted that elections will be held this year, with or without a new constitution.
“The issue for the MDC has never been when an election will be held but the conditions under which those elections must be held,” said Mwonzora.
“The MDC’s position is that elections can only be done in terms of the Global Political Agreement. Importantly, the President must agree with the Prime Minister on the date of an election.”
Election roadmap must be respected: Mwonzora
Mwonzora reiterated his party’s position that the election must follow the roadmap adopted by the negotiators and Sadc facilitator, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.
He also said political parties in the inclusive government must allow the constitution-making process to be completed and called for an end to all forms of state sponsored violence while legislative reforms, including media and security sector reforms, must be made.