Principals approve draft constitution

Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe and Welshman Ncube

By Tererai Karimakwenda
17 January 2013

The principals in the unity government have announced they have reached agreement on the draft of the constitution presented to them by the cabinet committee on Thursday, paving the way for some progress towards a referendum.

Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and MDC President Welshman Ncube all addressed journalists after meeting with the full COPAC management committee.

The cabinet appointed committee had met twice on Wednesday and ironed out the remaining contentious issues. The resulting solutions were presented to the principals in Thursday’s meeting and they agreed to adopt the new version.

“We are glad to say that we have now come to the conclusion of the exercise and all parties are agreed. Sure there will be some T’s to cross and I’s to dot but we are generally agreed and the finalization of the draft has now been made,” Mugabe told reporters.

He added that after the finalisation of the actual draft constitution the principals would announce the way forward, including a date for the referendum and a roadmap for elections.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said: “We have reached a defining moment for the country. I am sure that the people’s patience has been tested severely, that they have legitimate expectations out of this process. I am glad to say this concludes a long journey that we have travelled to arrive at this national process.”

But according to Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, this draft agreed to by the principals still has to be presented to the standing committees of the political parties, ZANU PF’s politburo and to the full COPAC parliamentary committee, before a final draft goes to a referendum.

Matinenga insists this is just a formality, but there remain concerns that ZANU PF will once again seize the opportunity and throw a spanners into the works and demand further changes, as they did last year after agreement had been reached by the negotiators.

Political commentator Wilbert Mukori said ZANU PF will most likely cause further delays, in order to minimize the amount of time left for other more important reforms that were agreed to in the GPA.

Mukori said this agreement by the principals weakens SADC’s position, because the regional grouping can now be accused of blocking progress by the unity government if they interfere with this process and demand more GPA reforms.

20 Responsesto “Principals approve draft constitution”

  1. malcomX says:

    So Ncube, you attended the meeting, no more complaints please. And tell you Lucky (Nhlanhla) Dube to shut his mouth next time.

  2. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    ‘Political commentator Wilbert Mukori said ZANU PF will most likely cause further delays, in order to minimize the amount of time left for other more important reforms that were agreed to in the GPA.

    Mukori said this agreement by the principals weakens SADC’s position, because the regional grouping can now be accused of blocking progress by the unity government if they interfere with this process and demand more GPA reforms.’

    Oh no no Gosh Aah. What are talking about Tererai Karimakwenda? Are you out of your mind to tell us that Wilbert Mukori is now a political commentator. Who gave him that designation and how was it arrived at?

    Kana vana Wilbert Mukori vava ma political commentator, nhai Tererai Karimakwenda ko isu toita vanaani? Wakambodya bar resipo here unotaura zvenhando izvi? Kasi murikushaya vanhu kwavo vanoziva zvavanotaura kwete mbocho iyi inonzi Wilbert Mukori. It is a disgrace that you play with our intelligence, guys.

  3. super mondo says:

    it took the goblin half an hour to say 10 words that reflects the pace of mention of how long it has taken to copile .how much money it cost and it is not the will of the people.sorry zim your future is bleak surrounded by unprofessional timewasters.

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      I think what we see is the beginning of the end of these time wasters! They only reason they had to agree now is that the maximum term between elections is five years and the five years are up!

  4. david taylor says:

    Wilbert Mukori is exactly correct on this – most of the most important conditions of the GPA have not been met. And the longer the constitution making process continues, the less time there will be to implement the conditions before any election. There is every reason for ZANU-PF to delay this process as long as possible.

  5. wilbert_mukori says:

    It took these GNU leaders four and half years at a cost of US$ 75 million to write a constitution that will not guarantee the citizens’ right to free and fair elections, not evens the right to life itself!

    They kicked the democratic reforms, everyone agreed are necessary for free and fair elections, into the tall grass four years ago. They will never implement any of these reform before the elections or ever.

    Now they want to hoodwink the whole nation into vote yes to this Copac rubbish, have another bloody election in which the three parties will once again share the spoils of office just as they have done these last five years.

    Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Ncube, etc.; they are always fighting in public but when it comes granting each other generous overseas travel allowances, ministerial cars and other perks they act as one. They are like wild cats; there is a lot of angry growling but many kittens! When you think they are fighting; they are in fact making love!

    They do not care how many innocent Zimbabweans will be beaten, raped or murdered during the coming elections. All they care about is that they get back on the gravy train by hook or by crook!

    Many people would have noticed that none of the MDC “big fish” have been arrested or otherwise harassed in the last three years; they are not to be touched – a direct order from the very top! It is the “small fry” in MDC and us ordinary mortals who will face a repeat of the 2008 orgy of violence or worse.

    This time Zanu PF terror machine will have US$ 2 billion from the Indigenization Fund plus another billion at least from the party’s Marange Diamond mining activities. The machine will well-funded, well-equipped and well-motivated (many of the thugs have loot to protect and a murderous past to keep under wraps).

    All the three principal and Professor Ncube were so confident Zimbabweans will approve the Copac draft in the referendum Mugabe was already talking of announcing the date of the referendum and the date of fresh elections! How arrogant! How presumptuously arrogant and dismissive!

    The people of Zimbabwe own it to themselves to stop the repeat of the 2008 orgy of violence. We must stop this Zanu PF juggernaut that is already wreaking havoc across the land before thousands more are beaten up, raped or murdered by voting NO during the referendum.

    A no vote in the referendum will stop the election process we all agree will be a repeat of 2008 or worse and force the full implementation of the agree democratic reforms.

    This dysfunctional GNU has taken the people of Zimbabwe for granted these last five years; the people must put their foot down and demand the implementation of the democratic reforms before elections, that is our only guarantee of free and fair elections free of violence!

  6. Yepec says:

    All though, Wilbert Mukori, is right in saying that the real, democratic reforms will not to be implemented in this GNU. However, Wilbert fervently believes that Zanu PF will, in future, allow these demands for a democratic Constitution, implementation of democratic reforms, enduring free and fair elections because an electoral body of citizens would have to demand them. So the question is, why will Zanu PF, allow the same in future but will not now? What is the problem in using the same strategy by the oppressed people of Zimbabwe?

    Tererai Karimakwenda calls him a Political Analyst on Zimbabwe – really, posing these type of contradictions to the readership? SW Radio Africa, try again?

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      I have never said Mugabe and Zanu PF will allow any democratic reforms to be implemented when the GPA was signed, before the elections or at any other time in the future. Zanu PF cannot afford the luxury of free and fair elections because they will lose that election.

      Professor Jonathan Moyo, said Mugabe would lose to a donkey in a free and fair election; that is how unpopular he is!.

      Prime Minister Tsvangirai is stupid and naive but not that stupid and naive to believe Zanu PF will ever implement the reforms. He has resigned himself to that reality; that is a different kettle of fish.

      My quarrel with the PM and his MDC friends is why they are lying to the people that the reforms will be implemented BEFORE the elections to get them to approve the Copac draft constitution. We all know ever since they got on the gravy train and Mugabe started pampering them; generous allowances, countless overseas trips, US$ 3 million mansion for the PM, US$ 1 500.00 per person per night holidays on the best Sea Liner for the PM and his flavor of the week, etc.; they all forgot they were elected on a ticket of bring democratic change. Implementing the reforms would have brought the democratic change.

      Now it is payback time and the PM is repaying Mugabe by delivering a yes vote to the Copac draft. So the PM is having to lie to the people that the coming elections will be free and fair knowing fully well they
      will not be just to get them to vote yes..

      If the people knew the truth; that Mugabe and Zanu PF plan to roll out a campaign of intimidation, harassment, beatings, rape and murder comparable to that of 2008 or worse; they will never ever vote yes to the Copac draft. Especially if they also know that by vote NO the will not just stop the elections going ahead but more significantly they will force the full implementation of the reforms and replacement of the Copac rubbish with a truly democratic constitution!

      If the people reject the Copac constitution they would also per se have rejected the GNU as appropriate institution to implement the reform going forward. In other words Tsvangirai, Mugabe, etc. will play no role.

      As for the title “Political Analyst and Commentator”; I conferred it on myself, Wizard of Oz style. I will send you my graduation photo, degree and all to prove it! If I may say so myself, in my usual shy and modest way; I look dashingly handsome and learned!

      • Yepec says:

        Tsvangirai or Mwonzora never said that ” the reforms will be implemented before the elections”. They said that they approve the draft because it was incremental to achieving democracy and was the right step in the right direction to a democratic State. There is a Shona saying which goes to the effect of some people carry salt when they go hunting anticipating to kill an animal which then they cut into pieces, roast and eat it, hence, the salt. That is exactly what you are doing in the comment above.

        • wilbert_mukori says:

          You really should go back to the comments these two and other MDC Officials made in July, August and September last year; they said repeatedly that they will ask SADC to put pressure on Mugabe to implement the reforms. Mugabe responded and said the playing field is level there will be no more reforms.

          Are were you saying the reforms have been implemented or do you accept they were not and they are not important?

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