Zanu PF, MDCs clash at Jomic constitution review

Brian Chitemba

REPRESENTATIVES of the MDC formations in the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) last week clashed with Zanu PF politburo members Jonathan Moyo and Oppah Muchinguri over a review of the constitution-making process after the Zanu PF officials refused to cooperate.
The meeting at the Jomic offices in Harare flopped after Moyo and Muchinguri vehemently refused to discuss progress on the constitution-making process, as discord among parties in the inclusive government rages on.
Jomic sources said that top of the agenda of the committee’s meeting on Tuesday last week was a report-back on the constitution.
Moyo and Muchinguri had a heated argument with MDC-T representatives Elton Mangoma, Thabitha Khumalo and their MDC counterparts Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Frank Chamunorwa and Edward Mkhosi over the Jomic agenda. Misihairabwi-Mushonga is current Jomic chair.
Zanu PF’s Nicholas Goche did not attend the meeting as he was said to be attending a parliamentary session.
But Moyo and Muchinguri declined to deliberate on the agenda because Zanu PF was due to meet last week on Wednesday to review the last draft constitution.
The politburo met for a record 15 hours and proposed a host of amendments seen as tantamount to rewriting the latest Copac draft by overhauling chapters and clauses in a bid to restore sweeping presidential powers President Robert Mugabe currently enjoys.
“Moyo and Muchinguri stormed out of the meeting because their argument was that Zanu PF is yet to conclude reviewing the draft constitution,” said a Jomic official.
Although the meeting went ahead without Zanu PF representatives, it was reduced to a talk show where officials discussed less important administrative matters.
“We didn’t look at the constitution but just administration issues. Jomic is a toothless bulldog even from within because Zanu PF has been stalling progress in the committee,” said the official.
Recently, Zanu PF was accused of boycotting provincial meetings in Matabeleland South and Mashonaland Central as clashes between Zanu PF and the MDCs continue.
The Jomic sources said the committee had been rendered redundant by Zanu PF because critical issues could not be discussed when representatives from any party signatory to the Global Political Agreement is absent.
“A review of the constitution-making process will now be held at a date to be announced and that will depend on Zanu PF’s readiness since they are still reviewing the draft constitution,” a source said.
After the draft was released on July 18, MDC formations met and endorsed the document.
Since its inception in 2009, Jomic has been widely viewed as a toothless bulldog and a waste of taxpayers’ money for failing to monitor the implementation of the GPA.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, mandated to comment as current Jomic chair, was not available to comment on the issue on Wednesday as her assistant insisted she was in marathon meetings. Efforts to get comment from Moyo were futile. Mangoma referred questions to Misihairabwi-Mushonga.