Principals Roped Into Constitution Process

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara –– the principals to the global political agreement –– will meet “very soon” to give direction and rationalise the constitution-making process, a cabinet minister said yesterday.


Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga told journalists in Harare that the principals wanted the process to remain on course.

 

Matinenga said although he could not  disclose the date Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara would meet, the principals appreciated “the urgency of the matter”.

“The three principals are meeting soon to discuss the process of efficiency, taking into consideration the disruptions and the inefficiency that characterised the stakeholders meeting (in July),” Matinenga added.

He said contrary to media reports that the constitution-making process had ground to a halt, it was on course.

The assurance came amid claims from Zanu PF officials that the process might not be completed until 2013.

Zanu PF has attributed the delay to lack of funds and a fight over the process between the parliamentary select committee and the administration of parliament and Matinenga.

The process, which was initially expected to end within 18 months from the setting up of a the select committee in April, has been moving at a snail’s pace.

Matinenga said the process was “irreversible”. He revealed that there were German donors who have expressed interest in funding the constitution-making process.  

Asked if the donors would not set conditions on the financial aid, Matinenga said all the money will be deposited with the Treasury which would determine how it should be used.

“There is no need to worry,” Matinenga said. “All the money from donors will be put in one common Treasury basket and it will be accounted for by the Treasury depending on the priorities.”

 Matinenga also said his ministry has appointed a special committee to oversee the constitution-making process.

“The constitution-making process is still alive,” Matinenga said. “The ministry has come up with a special committee that should be viewed as a purpose-made vehicle for the constitution-making process. The committee’s aim will be to monitor the efficiency capacity of the process and to strengthen the policy role.”

Henry Mhara

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