HomeLocalParties in deadlock ahead of Copac negotiations

Parties in deadlock ahead of Copac negotiations

This also diminishes chances of holding elections this year or early in 2013 as the recent Sadc summit in Angola ordered that no polls would be held without constitutional reforms to enable a level electoral playing field.

Sources who spoke to The Standard last week said Zanu PF would not compromise on its new demands in Nyanga because the former ruling party wants elections under the old constitution, which favours President Robert Mugabe.

“Zanu PF’s position is not to compromise on most of the sticky issues so that they derail or at least delay the whole constitution-making process,” said one source. “They will haggle and haggle during the meeting but in the end nothing substantive will come out of it.”

The source said although there were legal issues that needed to be addressed, most of the sticky issues were political and centred on power and influence.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said some of the contentious issues included demands by Zanu PF that soldiers must be allowed to participate in politics as well as attempts to give the President power to declare war without approval from Parliament.

Zanu PF also wants the President to have powers to unilaterally appoint the Chief Justice and judges of the Constitutional Court, a move which is being resisted by the two MDC formations.

The MDC formations are arguing that to avoid outrageous appointments of key state officials, they must be subject to the approval of parliament, as the current draft constitutions states.

The former ruling party also wants removed the limit to the number of ministers the President can appoint. In the current draft constitution, the president can appoint 25 ministers and 10 deputy ministers.

Mwonzora said Zanu PF was against devolution although all institutional submissions to Copac and the 10 provinces said they wanted that system of governance. Zanu PF has already declared that the system would not be allowed, describing it as divisive.

“These new demands have no relationship whatsoever with what the people of Zimbabwe said they wanted,” said Mwonzora. “It is doubtful whether these demands are being made in good faith or whether they are being made for purposes of delaying the constitution-making process.”

Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF negotiator and Minister of Justice, Patrick Chinamasa were fruitless yesterday.

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