No more negotiations - Tsvangirai

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday declared that he will not negotiate with President Robert Mugabe for the inclusion of Zanu PF’s amendments into the new draft constitution.

Tsvangirai told journalists at his monthly briefing that he would not be part of a group of three people seeking to subvert the will of the people.

“The Principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) cannot substitute the people’s sovereign right to determine how they should be governed,” he said.

“Let the people be the final arbiters not three individuals and certainly not me, I will not be part of it; neither the Principals nor the political parties have a veto over the process.

“Article VI of the GPA is clear that the constitution-making process is a parliamentary-driven process.
Some of us have no wish to revise that position and the Principals cannot negotiate a document negotiated by those with our delegated authority.”

Given that Mugabe and his party seem intent on re-negotiating the draft, Sadc-appointed facilitator South African President Jacob Zuma and new Troika chairperson Tanzania’s Jakaya Kikwete have their hands full.
Tsvangirai said there is no need to negotiate in perpetuity.

“This (Copac) draft is a product of careful and painstaking negotiation on a give-and-take basis and every party should reserve the right to campaign for or against the referendum,” he said.

“We say no to any attempt to dedicate more time in the process where the country has committed huge resources and time. Political parties should desist from pretending to speak on behalf of the people when the people reserve the right to speak for themselves.”

Zanu PF has rejected the Copac draft constitution. The party has produced a new version that it insists should now be negotiated by the three Principals.

However, its partners in the shaky coalition government have described the proposals as “crazy” and fit for the rubbish dump.

Tsvangirai called Mugabe’s new proposals a slap in the face.

“My attitude is that it is a slap in the face and retrogressive. If Zanu PF was bringing one or two issues one would say it might be necessary to have a look at their proposals for the sake of building consensus,” he said.

“But because it is a total rejection of the draft which by the way has been handed over to the Speaker of Parliament who according to the GPA is now supposed to take it to the 2nd All-Stakeholders Conference, we will not entertain it,” he said.

Mugabe is also of the view that he should be given a chance to discuss his party’s proposals with Tsvangirai, his deputy Arthur Mutambara and Welshman Ncube of the smaller MDC.

“The process seems to be moving and we do not know how we are supposed to accommodate Zanu PF in this situation. It is up to Sadc to resolve this,” the MDC leader said.

“Zanu PF has brought a completely re-written document for example the people called for a devolved state and our friends have completely removed this from their proposals,” said Tsvangirai.

He said he did not agree to the Ncube-led MDC proposal to present the Copac draft together with the Zanu PF to a referendum.

“Why should we complicate our people’s lives by asking them to choose between two drafts?” Tsvangirai queried.

“My advice to Zanu PF is to vote against the Copac draft if they are not happy.”

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