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Zanu PF says 30 issues holding up new charter
19/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
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PROSPECTS of a new constitution under the current unity establishment dimmed even further on Thursday with Zanu PF announcing a bloated list of 30 issues it says are stalling progress.

The startling revelations emerged even as some officials in both MDC formations have been saying only a few unresolved matters remain.

An inter-party ministerial panel formed last month to deal with the enduring disagreements on the charter failed to meet for the third time on Wednesday.

Zanu PF Copac co-chair Paul Mangwana said among the outstanding issues were devolution, dual citizenship, executive powers, Land Commission, reform of the security sector and the judiciary.

“There are 30 sticky issues, not two as touted by other people,” Mangwana told the Herald.

He accused the MDC-T of not committing itself to finalisation of the long-delayed constitution.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga would not say how many issues of contestation remain, but some in his party have been claiming about six.

Mangwana vowed that his party will not compromise on issues that it claims were rejected by delegates at the last stakeholders conference, including dual citizenship.

“Delegates at the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference were clear that they want what is in the current Citizenship Act where there is no dual citizenship, but the MDC-T does not want that,” he told state media.

Some of the contested issues as claimed by Mangwana include:

# Executive powers - No agreement on whether the executive authority should be vested in the President only or in the President and Cabinet.

# No agreement on whether or not the President should seek approval of parliament when declaring war.

# Zanu PF wants the President empowered to declare war before informing parliament.

# Security sector - MDC-T does not want a General to be transferred from one defense arm to another.

# No agreement on whether the constitution should provide for appointment of the minister responsible for police.

# Judiciary – Disagreement on whether there should be a separate Constitutional Court or the Supreme Court should transfer itself into a Constitutional Court when there are constitutional issues arising.

# Differences on whether or not the Clerk of Parliament should preside over the election of House Speaker or Senate president.”

# Land Commission – Zanu PF wants land commission scrapped, but MDC formations favour it.

# Attorney-General – Disagreement on fate of Attorney-General’s office and introduction of a National Prosecuting Authority to assumes prosecutorial functions, currently a mandate of the AG.

# Devolution – Zanu PF wants it removed saying it may encourage secession movements.

# Appointment of governors – Disagreement on whether or not governors should be indirectly elected or appointed by the President.

# Disagreement on whether the Constitution should provide for the appointment of a civil service minister.

# Whether or not there should be term limits for Clerk of Parliament, chief executive officers or heads of statutory bodies.

# Whether or not judges must be guided by the ideals of the liberation struggle in their interpretation of the law.

# Running mates for presidential candidates.

The endless list of argumentative issues emerged as the MDC-T’s National Council vowed after a Wednesday meeting that it will not cave to Zanu PF’s demands.

“The party reaffirmed its endorsement of the Copac draft describing it as “a panacea to the socio-economic and political crisis confronting Zimbabwe,” a party resolution said.

It also said that elections should be held only the "implementation of the agreed road man, when all requisite reforms necessary to create a legitimate credible and sustainable election have been attended to."

A recent Zanu PF conference resolved that if there is still no common ground on the new charter by Christmas, President Robert Mugabe should dissolve parliament and call new elections without reforms.


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