|Parties not happy with draft constitution|
|Saturday, 11 August 2012 19:40|
Senior ReporterPARTIES in the inclusive Government have expressed their dissatisfaction with the draft constitution, describing it as an imperfect compromise document between negotiators and not principals, who overlooked certain fundamentals.
Ironically, the MDCs are urging people to vote for it at the referendum. They have endorsed the document that Zanu-PF had expressed reservations on, saying it did not capture the views of the people.
Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity, Cde Rugare Gumbo, told Sunday News that they analysed the document and agreed that it did not capture the interests of the people. He said there was an oversight of certain pertinent issues on the part of party representatives and as a result, they produced an incomplete document that could not be the best for the country.
“There was an oversight on the part of representatives on some pertinent issues. They failed to capture the views of the people and we are saying without that the document is incomplete to be the constitution of the country and that is why it is going to be rejected at the referendum,’’ he said.
National Constitutional Assembly chairman, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, said the position that the parties were communicating in drafting the constitution were that of party negotiators and not GPA signatories.
“It is surprising that the two MDCs are saying people should accept a document they all agree is not perfect. They are saying it is the best under the circumstances but we are saying what circumstances and who created those circumstances. Why did they take part in a process they have no control of?
“As NCA, our position has not changed and Zanu-PF has also joined us but the difference is that we are saying the whole exercise was futile while they say they want a revision of the process,’’ he said.
MDC president, Professor Welshman Ncube, on Wednesday agreed that the current draft constitution did not reflect the views of the people but was more of a compromised document. He said what was contained in the draft constitution were the basic minimum issues although many of the things in the draft were not what they wanted them to be like.
“We are saying the draft constitution is the only compromise and we are not going to any other compromise. The document is far from being perfect. What we managed to achieve are the basic minimum issues but many of the things in the draft are not what exactly we wanted them to be like. For example, devolution came minimal with appointed governors as against elected ones and as a result there will be no provincial government as we had wanted.
“We have endorsed the document as a party and we agreed that it should be taken to people as it is and that we will not allow any other party to impose its will on the document,’’ he said.
Asked why they were campaigning for an imperfect document to be voted for, Prof Ncube said they were convinced that with all its imperfections it was better than the one that the country was using and that it was the best compromise.
Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, who is also MDC-T spokesman for Harare province, Mr Obert Gutu, said in an interview after a public meeting organised by Bulawayo Agenda that it was true that the draft constitution was not perfect.
He said the draft constitution had one of the best Bill of Rights although certain fundamental provisions were not included as people had wanted.
Mr Gutu said it was a significant step forward for the country to have a new document although it was far from being perfect. He said the constitution was not a document for eternity.
“The draft constitution is not perfect in the sense that it failed to capture some of the fundamentals of what people wanted such as devolution. I know very well that people especially from this part of the country, wanted devolution but that did not come out as people had proposed. The document is not that for eternity, it will definitely not be cast in stone,’’ he said.
He added that the document though far from fulfilling the people’s wishes, was a major improvement from the one that the country was using. MDC deputy director planning, strategy and implementation, Mr Joshua Mhambi, said their party took only six hours to analyse and agree on the draft constitution document.
He said there was talk of a united force to fight Zanu-PF but he hinted that they were more concerned on who would replace President Mugabe as they don’t want someone with poor leadership qualities.
Mr Mhambi added that it was the main reason why they were reluctant to join hands with the MDC-T.