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New constitution may be changed: Mugabe
17/02/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
Constitution a compromise ... President Robert Mugabe
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Referendum called for March 16
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Amendment 20 could sink COPAC draft

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has suggested that the new constitution may be amended should his Zanu PF party win elections expected later this year.

The COPAC document is seet to be put to a national referendum on March 16, possibly concluding a process that had appeared on the brink of collapse over disagreements between parties to the coalition government.

The MDC formations rejected several amendments proposed to the COPAC draft by Zanu PF which also refused to accept, among other things, clauses relating to devolution, dual citizenship as well as the powers of the Presidency.

The process was only rescued by a compromise deal reached last month between Mugabe and MDC leaders Morgan Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube and Arthur Mutambara.

But Mugabe told traditional leaders at a meeting in Masvingo over the weekend that his party would consider changes to the document should it win fresh elections later this year.

The chiefs have expressed concern over clauses in the draft relating to land and sought to meet Mugabe over the issue.

The Zanu PF leader however, urged the chiefs to back the constitution during next month’s referendum to help facilitate new elections.

“We agreed on the constitution, not all that we wanted came out. It was a compromise,” Mugabe said. “After the elections, we will amend the constitution to fit in some of your views, right now we must get rid of this three-headed creature.”

Mugabe is keen end the coalition government he formed with Tsvangirai after violent but inconclusive elections in 2008.

The two leaders agree that the deal is no longer workable due to policy differences between their parties with Tsvangirai suggesting that fresh elections may be held in July.


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