April 26, 2012

Draft of new constitution not completed yet, says minister

The Minister for Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Eric Matinenga, has said no complete draft of Zimbabwe's new charter is available yet because differences on two key issues still remained between ZANU PF and the MDC formations. Local reports had recently suggested that a draft was ready for the principals to review, and they would try to resolve the outstanding issues that the negotiators had failed to sort out. But according to Minister Matinenga the Management Committee is due to meet again to go over the remaining issues blocking progress. When they are "satisfied", they will then present a draft to the three principals in the coalition government.

The two issues unresolved concern dual citizenship and the structure of the executive. "The position of the MDC formations is that nothing should take away a person's right to Zimbabwean citizenship, regardless of what else they may do with citizenship in another country. But ZANU PF insists this should not be allowed," Matinenga explained. Regarding the structure of the executive, Matinenga said the parties do not agree on the number of Vice Presidents Zimbabwe should have. ZANU PF is insisting on two, which is the current system. They also want some provincial governors to be appointed while the MDC formations insist they should be elected.

Luke Zunga from the Global Zim Forum in South Africa explained that ZANU PF opposes dual citizenship because it involves Zimbabweans in the diaspora, who are likely to vote ZANU PF out of power. The lack of information and conflicting statements from officials in the coalition government have kept Zimbabweans guessing as to the status of the country's new constitution, which is a key issue that must be resolved before any election can be held. (SW Radio Africa)

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