Party principals clash

SQUABBLES continue to rock the inclusive government as party principals this week clashed over the formation of a cabinet committee to drive the controversial constitution-making process after the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference.

Report by Wongai Zhangazha/ Brian Chitemba

The formation of the cabinet committee would effectively wrest control of the much-delayed constitution-making exercise from political parties to become a government-driven process, rendering Copac defunct in violation of the Global Political Agreement(GPA).

High-level sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that President Robert Mugabe met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday over the issue despite an agreement earlier this month that principals would only meet after the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference slated for Monday.

Mugabe, who has long been plotting to hijack the constitution-making process from Copac, roped in Tsvangirai in his grand plan to establish a cabinet committee to take over the writing of the governance charter in his quest to have greater control as he chairs cabinet.

The two agreed to appoint a cabinet committee to “speed up” the finalisation of the new constitution under the guise of implementing the Sadc Maputo resolutions.

Sources said Mugabe and Tsvangirai had also agreed that Sadc representatives be seconded to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee immediately.

But there was drama after Mugabe sent Tsvangirai to talk to MDC leader Welshman Ncube over the decision to establish a cabinet committee to take over the finalisation of the constitution-making process since Ncube was not invited to the Monday meeting.

Ncube, the sources said, told Tsvangirai at a tense meeting on Tuesday after cabinet that he would not endorse the formation of a cabinet committee because he was not part of the deal.

Tsvangirai is said to have tried in vain to convince Ncube, who dismissed the premier demanding that all issues they had clandestinely agreed to be revisited in his presence.

Squabbles among political party principals were triggered when Mugabe somersaulted on his promise to engage Ncube on issues related to the GPA constitution, politics and Jomic.