Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Cabinet fully behind drafting of new constitution

Cabinet fully behind drafting of new constitution

By Tichaona Sibanda
16 February 2012

Despite protestations from ZANU PF that a draft constitution recently 
‘leaked’ to the media seeks to bar Robert Mugabe from seeking re-election, a 
recent cabinet meeting gave the process its full backing.

Eric Matinenga, the Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, told 
SW Radio Africa on Thursday that they don’t have a deadlock in the drafting 
of a new constitution and it’s business as usual.

‘I presented a report on the whole process to cabinet recently and it was 
well received. I wouldn’t want to refer to the leaked document as a draft 
but a working document,’ Matinenga said.

He continued: ‘It’s still a mere working document that needs to be 
interrogated by the select committee before they engage the three drafters. 
And only at the end of that exercise can we hopefully have the first draft.’

He added: ‘There are going to be many changes, compromises, alterations and 
additions, so people should not make noise before reading a complete draft.’

Tempers have already flared from within the ZANU PF camp, with accusations 
that the process is specifically targeting its leader from standing as a 
presidential candidate.

They claim that one of the clauses in the draft was inserted with the ageing 
Mugabe in mind. The clause in question says ‘a person is disqualified for 
election as President if he or she has already held office for one or more 
periods, whether continuous or not, amounting to 10 years.’

As a result ZANU PF officials want the constitution-making exercise 
abandoned, claiming it has failed. Didymus Mutasa, the ZANU PF secretary for 
administration, claimed representatives from their party in COPAC who 
allowed that clause to sail through have gone off the party route.

He chastised them for acting in bad faith, saying they ‘are not bigger than 
ZANU PF’ according to an interview with the Daily News.

‘Why do they want to block our president from standing? Who do they think 
they are? Why are they trying to play around with the constitution? Those 
people are not doing what ZANU PF agreed on. Please, make it very clear that 
ZANU PF is greater than them,’ Mutasa told the paper.



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