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MDC Leader Ncube Says New Zimbabwe Constitution Must Be Negotiated

  • Sithandekile Mhlanga

But President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC formation disagreed, saying it is too early to judge the relevance of the public comment that was collected

The leader of the smaller formation of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change, Welshman Ncube, has ruffled feathers by saying the constitution soon to be drafted will in large part have to be negotiated as public comment did not address many issues.

Ncube said only about 20 percent of the constitutional issues to be covered by the new basic document came up in outreach sessions. He said the notion of a “people driven” constitution was a “myth,” or a “mobilization cliché” conjured up by non-governmental organizations such as the National Constitutional Assembly.

But President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC formation disagreed, saying it is too early to judge the relevance of the public comment that was collected. But both sides agreed there are some issues that ordinary people did not understand, like the appointment of judges and the role of the central bank.

Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, ZANU-PF co-chairman of the parliamentary committee in charge of the revision process, told reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga the new constitution should reflect people’s views as outlined by Article VI of the Global Political Agreement, opining that 90 percent of the issues relating to the constitution were covered.

Gladys Dube-Gombami, deputy co-chairperson of the select committee for the Tsvangirai MDC, said views that may have been expressed in layman’s terms still have value as they can be re-written in more legal language in the new constitution.

But National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku said the GPA was a document negotiated by the three political parties, which created the select committee charged with revising the constitution, so clearly the latter would be negotiated.

Madhuku told VOA reporter Violet Gonda that the signatories of the Global Political Agreement tried to deceive the Zimbabwean people to create the impression that nothing would be done behind their back - but now the deceit has become evident.

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