Zanu (PF) Confirms Coaching People Over Constitution

The party’s Legal Affairs department conducted a series of workshops to ensure its position on the new constitution sailed through so that it could “achieve an outright win in elections for a post-GPA (Global Political Agreement) government”, documents possessed by Radio VOP indicate.

According to the party’s central committee report to the party’s conference in Mutare between 15 and 18 December 2010, the Zanu (PF) legal guru Emmerson Mnangagwa said in his departmental report that the countrywide meetings were intended to ensure the ideals and values of the party were captured in the new supreme law of the land.

“The department held several workshops to devise a strategic plan for the constitution making process and to have a party position on each of the 17 themes among other issues. The series of workshops were attended by participants comprising lawyers, university lecturers, senior officers, members of parliament, provincial members, members from the party’s research team and pastors among others,” said Mnangagwa.

“The workshops were aimed at devising an implementable people-centred strategic plan to ensure that the values, ideals and founding principles of the party were permanently imprinted into the supreme law of the country.

“To that end the main objectives of the workshop were to evolve strategies to counter the neo-liberal threats that western sponsored political parties posed to the ideals and tenets of Zanu (PF).”

It has also been revealed that the workshops were meant to articulate the main principles of the Kariba Draft constitution, devise multi-pronged media strategy to reach the general populace and to come up with coordinated campaign strategies targeting all organs of the party.

The revelations come at the back of threats by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) not to recognise a draft constitution currently on the cards whose process is alleged to be flawed and not reflective of the people’s views.

President Mugabe also said in his foreword to the central committee report that 80 percent of the views gathered during the parliamentary Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) outreach exercise reflected a Zanu (PF) position.

“The conclusion of the COPAC outreach programme has sent a loud and clear message to the MDC and its merchants of confusion among our detractors who all along were doubtful of our party’s capacity to ably speak with and for the people of this country,” said the President.

“Now, there’s nobody who does not know that more than 80 percent of the views expressed and gathered during the outreach programme echoed and affirmed our Zanu (PF) views and positions on the content of the proposed new constitution for our country. What that has demonstrated is that, as the centre of governance, our party has formidable intellectual capacity for governing and running the country,” Mugabe boasted.

The constitution making process is currently in doubt as COPAC is grappling to raise about US$6 million to complete the drafting phase and probably come up with a document that will go to a referendum.

The constitution has been viewed by rival political parties as the basis for free and fair elections through addressing necessary electoral reforms, but the Zanu (PF) gathering in Mutare recommended elections to take place next year.
President Mugabe has in the past said polls will go ahead with or without a new constitution a move that has been criticised by the civic society saying the environment was not yet conducive and could result in bloodshed.