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Ruling Parties' Political Discord Haunts Zimbabwe's Draft Constitution

The two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change have adopted the recently completed draft constitution though they are not happy with some provisions including a proposal for presidential candidates to choose running mates in national polls.

Zanu PF has also expressed reservations over this provision which the MDC formation of Industry Minister Welshman Ncube says is not negotiable.

Ncube said Wednesday his party will not accept any amendments to the document as being strongly demanded by Zanu PF which argues that the presidential running mate clause violates its own constitution.

The prime minister and President Robert Mugabe’s parties are expected to meet to map the way forward as Zimbabweans patiently wait for a new constitution before the holding of crucial general elections.

For an indepth analysis, VOA's Tatenda Gumbo talked to National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) spokesman Madock Chivasa and Alex Magaisa, a London-based law lecturer and advisor to the parliamentary select committee.

Magaisa said the parties are merely politicking over the draft constitution mooted at the inception of the unity government.

"I think what we are seeing is political gamesmanship ... We are also seeing factionalism at play within Zanu PF because the party has had its own political representatives at the negociating table and there is no reason for the delays in adopting the draft document," said Magaisa.

Chivasa, whose NCA has already called for a no-vote on the referendum, said it is clear the current draft is in favor for Zanu PF.

He said though the organziation is pushing for a no vote, it will educate the public on provisions of the draft constitution.