HomePoliticsGovt has no Money for new Constitution –– Chinamasa

Govt has no Money for new Constitution –– Chinamasa

JUSTICE minister Patrick Chinamasa has denied claims that Zanu PF is delaying the constitution-making process, blaming it instead on lack of financial and other resources.

Addressing journalists in Harare on Wednesday, Chinamasa also said his party was not afraid of any future elections and dismissed as propaganda surveys which show that Zanu PF would perform dismally in any polls.

He said that the new constitution would only be in place if there are adequate resources in place, adding that the 2000 draft constitution outreach programme was well-funded by organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme.

Chinamasa said the lack of resources had been evidenced by co-chairman of the parliamentary select committee Douglas Mwonzora having to hire a vehicle to carry out his duties.

He said that thematic committee members tasked to carry out constitutional outreach programme were therefore not expected to fund the process from their own pockets and that the government would now need to go out with “a begging bowl” for funds.

Chinamasa said Zanu PF party cannot fund its parliamentarians to carry out the process.

He castigated the parliamentary select committee for being disorganised citing the all-stakeholders conference in July which ended in disarray after some Zanu PF delegates disrupted proceedings on the first day as well as the failure to pay for accommodation and transport of delegates.

Chinamasa said the constitution should be a product of all the three parties in the inclusive government and should therefore be resoundingly adopted by Zimbabweans.

“If the constitution is rejected, it will be catastrophic, However, I am not a pessimist,” he said.

He said the debate on whether or not the Kariba draft constitution should be used as reference document was diluted by the ignorance of most people, including parliamentarians, on the contents of the document.

“The problem is that most people including MPs and you journalists have not read the (Kariba draft) constitution. People should not concentrate on process but content of the constitution,” Chinamasa said.
On by-elections, Chinamasa said the polls would only take place when the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is constituted and when funds are made available by Finance minister Tendai Biti.

Turning to the expected return of Independent MP Jonathan Moyo to the Zanu PF fold, Chinamasa said the former information minister would have come back to the party a long time ago if he had the power to influence such a decision.

“I worked well with Jonathan Moyo. Personally I have a soft spot for Jonathan Moyo,” Chinamasa said. “If you look at his ideology, his home is with Zanu PF, don’t you think so?.”

 

Kudzai Kuwaza

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