Constitution: Zuma team expected
Harare: President Jacob Zuma's backroom facilitation team is expected in Harare today to get an update on Constitution-making in Zimbabwe. But, political analysts said the visit was insignificant because the final determination on the draft Constitution lay with principals in the inclusive Government. They said a "clear signal" on the way forward would come from the principals, not the facilitation team.
A member of the team, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, said they would not dictate what should be included in the new Constitution. She said the team would meet negotiators from the three main political parties today.
"As you are aware, the draft Constitution was availed and the MDC formations made their consultations and immediately endorsed the document, while on the other hand Zanu-PF has an input to make," she said. "We are not going to dictate, but facilitate the finding of an agreement between the parties where we can."
"We have got an entire responsibility to look at the implementation of the Global Political Agreement and we will also look at other areas, especially after the Maputo summit."
Zanu-PF, after auditing the draft against the national report, came up with amendments on some provisions of the draft. The two MDC formations declared the amendments void, saying the revolutionary party should bring its concerns to the Second All Stakeholders' Conference.
Zanu-PF negotiator Cde Patrick Chinamasa yesterday said the principals were dealing with the draft constitution. "They now have the case before them and are the highest authority to deal with the matter," he said. "If the facilitation team comes, we are going to listen to their message. As to what will happen after that, I do not want to speculate."
MDC negotiator Mrs Priscillah Misihairambwi Mushonga expressed optimism the facilitation would break the deadlock. "They are following up on the Maputo resolution. We hope to find the solution to our problems otherwise we wouldn't be meeting," she said.
Mr Tendai Biti, MDC-T negotiator, said the Sadc facilitation team would help move the process forward. "There is no way the process will not be completed. The process cannot be derailed by the differences between political parties," he said. "The Sadc facilitation team will solve that and help us move forward."
But political analysts said the visit by Mr Zuma's team would not change anything. "What should be understood is that we are a sovereign State and in this case, the principals who are national leaders have the final say," said Dr Joseph Kurebwa, a University of Zimbabwe political scientist.
"Unless we get a clear signal from the three principals, any other view may not necessarily help or indicate which way we should go."