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War of Words Intensifies Over Zimbabwe's New Constitution

The war of words between Zimbabwe's former information minister Jonathan Moyo and the select committee responsible for writing the country's new charter intensified Tuesday with co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora revealing his committee wants the acerbic Moyo tried for contempt of parliament for continuously attacking the constitution-making process.

Mwonzora of the Morgan Tsvangirai Movement for Democratic Change formation told the VOA Moyo, a ZANU-PF politburo member, has gone too far and needs to have his wings clipped.

Writing in the state-controlled Sunday Mail this week, Moyo attacked the constitution making process and the select committee saying it has been hijacked by the “mafia that has become desperate and is now resorting to fallacies, to secure its floundering regime change or succession interests.”

Moyo, a lawmaker, has been critical of the parliamentary committee tasked to write the new charter and his critics say he's one of the hawks in President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party pushing for elections this year even in the absence of reforms or a new constitution.

Moyo is also being criticized by colleagues in his own party who think he's overstepping his mark. Select committee co-chairman Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana of ZANU-PF was quoted by the independent Daily News Tuesday saying he's confused as to what Moyo’s real motives are.

Mangwana said Moyo was “behaving worse than National Constitution Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku” whose organization has openly denounced the process. The NCA has long criticized the current constitutional writing process saying it will not produce a document driven by politicians and not the ordinary people.

Madhuku told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri the select committee, however disgusted it can be by Moyo’s criticism, has no power to have the lawmaker tried by parliament.