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Constitution won’t be ready end of year – Matinenga

Constitution won’t be ready end of year – Matinenga

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Helen Kadirire, Staff Writer
Friday, 03 June 2011 17:31

HARARE – A new constitution that coalition partners agree is key to fresh 
polls will not be ready before the end of the year, dealing a blow to 
President Robert Mugabe’s furious calls for an election this year, a cabinet 
minister has said.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga told Daily 
News in an interview that incessant delays dogging the constitution-making 
process made it impossible to beat a self-imposed September deadline.

“It is realistic to note that we may not have it by September 30. But it is 
my belief that it may happen at the end of the year,” said Matinenga, whose 
ministry is in charge of the process.

Funding and political feuding have been the biggest reasons for the failure 
by the Constitution Parliamentary Committee (Copac) to delay the completion 
of new governance charter, a critical part of the coalition government’s 
power-sharing agreement.

“For a process like the constitution writing, it is more events driven 
rather than time driven. We should not put a time frame as the two are not 
mutually exclusive,” said Matinenga, dismissing Mugabe’s insistence on 
elections this year.

“During the outreach process there were scattered instances of violence 
which were out of control and the programme had to be stopped,” he said.

Bitter rivals and now uncomfortable coalition partners have all agreed that 
a fresh election can only proceed after the completion of the constitution. 
But Mugabe’s camp insists the constitution should be done by September to 
ensure elections immediately after.

Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, rubbished Matinenga’s projection saying 
Mugabe still expected the September deadline to be met.

“The process shall proceed as anticipated and elections will follow suit,” 
Gumbo said.

Paul Mangwana, the Zanu PF Copac co-chair echoed Gumbo’s statements.

“That is his (Matinenga’s) opinion. We are very determined and will strive 
to achieve the target of September 30,” Mangwana said.

But his co-chairs from the MDC formations, Douglas Mwonzora and Edward 
Mkhosi said the process could be further drawn out because of funding and 
political complications.

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