Zim Constitution May Be Negotiated
“It has to be ultimately a negotiated settlement. But the process was to ensure that all Zimbabweans give views but unfortunately the politicians took a partisan position and hence violence ensued,” said Tsvangirai while speaking at an accountability conference organised by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and the Centre for Public Accountability (CPA) in Harare.
Tsvangirai said this as the on-going constitution making process which, had so far been marred by incidents of violence remained suspended in Harare and Chitungwiza.
“The management committee has to give a comprehensive report to mitigate the problems that the process has so far faced in the outreach programme of the constitution making process,” said Tsvangirai
“On Thursday I am going to try to convince the other principals to discuss the report of the constitution committee, we need a credible and legitimate constitution. I am hoping that we don’t abandon this process because a step forward is better than a static position.”
“If we have a constitution making process and one person is killed then you are already strengthening the views of those who are cynical about the process in the country,” said Tsvangirai.
The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) last week reported that incidences of violence had been continuing in most parts of the country at constitution making outreach processes.
The group said the process had been happening in a very polarised manner with political parties seeking to entrench their views to the process.
Meanwhile Tsvangirai launched an attack on Attorney General Johannes Tomana whom he said continued to impede the rule of law with the assistance of top government ministers and security services.
“One of the biggest challenges facing us as a nation is the constant and deliberate violations of the rule of law,” Tsvangirai said at the same meeting.
“This campaign is made possible by an Attorney General that takes his orders from his political masters rather than fulfilling his constitutionally mandated role. In this he is often aided and abetted by some government ministers, some members of the judiciary and some senior members of the security establishment.”
Tomana, whose tenure is still under intense challenge from MDC, was appointed in November 2008 by President Robert Mugabe against the dictates of the Global Political Agreement which calls for President Mugabe to consult both MDCs before making an executive appointment.
Tsvangirai also warned top government officials who continue to engage in corruption saying they will one day be called to account for their transgressions.
“Government must be accountable to the people not the people to the government,” he said.
The workshop was attended by representatives from civil society networks, media groups and a representative from the auditor general.
Tsvangirai, who referred to western imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe as restrictive measures, said claims by President Robert Mugabe that sanctions were impeding economic progress in Zimbabwe were “political rhetoric”.
He blamed Zimbabwe’s economic collapse on poor governance by President Mugabe, who at the UN summit weekend attributed his failed policies to sanctions.
“There is no economic sanctions regime in Zimbabwe. What we have are restrictive measures,” he said.
The MDc leader said Zanu (PF) was using the issue of sanctions for political expediency.