British Ambassador Tells Zanu (PF) To Commit To Constitution Drafting

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday after touring King George VI School for the disabled in Bulawayo, Bronnert said Zanu (PF) should follow the Global Political Agreement (GPA) by getting committed to the process.

On Monday, Zanu (PF) threatened to pull out of the writing of a new constitution in protest against a clause which says President Robert Mugabe should be barred from contesting future elections.

“The constitutional drafting process is something that all the parties committed themselves to when they signed the GPA,” Bronnert told journalists here. “This is part of the GPA which they signed up to and therefore we expect them to be committed to the writing of the new constitution.”

According to the first draft of a new constitution “a person is disqualified for election as President if he or she has already held office for one or more periods, whether continuous or not, amounting to 10 years”.

If adopted, the clause would block Mugabe, who turns 88 this year and has ruled the country since independence in 1980, from running again.

The veteran leader was nominated by Zanu (PF) as its candidate for elections the party is demanding must be held this year despite concerns over his advanced age and reported failing health.

Paul Mangwana, Zanu (PF)’s representative on Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) leading the writing of the new constitution has said Mugabe would never sign off the new charter if it blocked him from contesting the new elections.

Zimbabwe is writing a new constitution as part of a raft of reforms expected to lead to the new elections.