Whose constitution?

HARARE - The recent agreement on a contentious draft constitution negotiated by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has left both Zanu PF and the two MDCs in a fix as they try to sell their leaders’ decision to the electorate.

The Principals’ call for Zimbabweans to support the draft constitution has divided top party officials and members, who for long have been deadlocked on what should be included in the new charter.

While both Zanu PF and the MDCs say the principals’ agreement to the draft constitution was meant to speed democratic processes key to credible elections, it is important that they tell the truth when they visit grassroots communities during the ongoing public awareness campaign.

To the majority of Zimbabweans, the call for a "Yes" vote by the Principals may be construed to imply that the new draft constitution is the best charter to come out of the process, yet this has been a horse trading pact between two men running the government.

It does not carry the seriousness expected of such an important document.

With this kind of attitude which can be likened to incremental mentality where each party looks at not conceding any more, there is no guarantee that we have seen the last of amendments.

It is important that when the political parties take the draft to the electorate they explain their positions on the aftermath of the elections.

Will there be another constitution writing process again or will they be amending it just like Zanu PF has been doing to the 1980 Lancaster charter?

As we hear it from both Zanu PF and the MDC, this document is just meant to facilitate an important transition — holding elections, and that after the vote, the party in power would amend it.

The Zanu PF party has already pointed at more than 200 grey areas in the new draft charter which they want changed and if they happen to win the next general election they would definitely amend the Constitution.

Equally, there are many in the MDCs who are boiling with anger as they do not agree with the final contents in the new draft constitution.

If voted into power, the MDCs have several of their own grey areas which they would quickly amend.

For the past months, Zanu PF officials have been taking turns to denounce the new draft charter and Mugabe’s sudden agreement is quite telling.

So we ask, whose Constitution is it for? - Staff Writer

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