Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe faces resistance in his bid to wrest control of the new constitution from Parliament with Copac chairmen insisting that GPA Principals have no role in the process while leaders of other political parties accused him of trying to usurp the powers of the legislature.
Copac, a Parliamentary committee, has been steering the process to write a new constitution but Mugabe told delegates to the second all-stakeholders conference in Harare Monday that he, along with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy, Arthur Mutambara, would have the final say on the new constitution.
Mavambo Kusile leader Simba Makoni said there was no basis for Mugabe’s claim in the GPA and accused him of trying to usurp Parliamentary authority.
“The GPA Principals have no mandate to finalise the country’s constitution. Nowhere in the GPA are the so-called Principals given a role, let alone final say, in the making of the new constitution,” Makoni said in a statement.
“The import of the President’s remarks is that the people’s views do not matter at all … the three GPA leaders are not the only people in Zimbabwe; the country has fourteen million citizens.
“But) this should not surprise anyone, since disregard of the will of the people has been President Mugabe’s hallmark for the past two decades.
Copac co-chair Douglas Mwonzora said Mugabe’s statement was an attempt to interfere in the affairs of the legislature.
“I don’t agree with the President,” Mwonzora said in an interview.
“It was just a statement and I didn’t actually get what he meant in terms of at what stage are the principals going to come in. The legislature is an equal arm of the State just like the judiciary and the executive.
“Copac will produce a national report after tabling the matter to Parliament that’s when our job end. The executive will only come into the fold when the document reaches cabinet.”