PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party all but conceded defeat over its bid to force a raft of amendments to the draft constitution on Wednesday.
Zanu PF’s politburo sat across four marathon meetings and amended the Constitution Select Committee (COPAC)’s draft published in July, and then tried to have the changes adopted by the two MDC parties.
But after meeting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara on Wednesday, Mugabe conceded that the COPAC draft will go through to the Second All-stakeholders’ Conference.
Zanu PF will insist that COPAC publish the so-called National Report – the document containing all data from the nationwide outreach – alongside the draft constitution so that delegates can compare the two documents and make changes.
Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba said the conference was likely to be held early next month.
MDC leader Welshman Ncube missed the meeting to attend to his mother who is ill, but in his absence Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara agreed that “the COPAC draft should be taken to the Second All-stakeholders’ Conference together with the national report,” according to Charamba.
But Douglas Mwonzora, the COPAC co-chairman from Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party, insisted that only the draft constitution will be tabled at the conference which will bring together some 600 representatives from each party and various NGOs.
Zanu PF says the MDC-T is not keen to have the National Report published because it will show that the draft constitution does not properly capture the views of the people.
Zanu PF is now targeting the National Report as the new battleground as it seeks to force changes to the draft on various issues including dual citizenship, homosexuality and devolution.