Anti-Mugabe clause overhauled from draft lawBy KITSEPILE NYATHI in Harare | Thursday, February 23 2012 at 16:28
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party said a parliamentary committee leading a constitution making has been forced to drop a number of provisions including one that would have barred him from future polls.
A Zanu-PF representative in the Constitution Select Committee (COPAC), Mr Paul Munyaradzi Mangwana, said they had made a raft of changes to the draft supreme law.
He said this was done after a realisation that 70 per cent of the information used by the drafters was not part of the people’s view obtained from a 2009 outreach programme.
Mr Mangwana said they had reviewed six of the 18 chapters of the first draft, including the one dealing with presidential term limits.
Another contentious clause sought to bar candidates above 70 years of age from participating in future polls and was seen as targeted at President Mugabe, who turned 88 on Tuesday.
“Of the six chapters we have reviewed, we have made a lot of changes because we have discovered that the drafters had ignored what we instructed them to do and 70 per cent of their content was of their own invention,” Mr Mangwana told the Herald newspaper.
"We have evidence that they were careless with their job and we had no option than to make plenty of changes.”
He also accused the drafters of trying to sneak in a clause that would have legalised homosexuality and dual citizenship.
But President Mugabe’s coalition partners dismissed the claims saying the draft constitution was not yet ready.
Zimbabwe’s long serving president - in power since independence in 1980 – has vowed to reject a constitution that bars him from contesting in future polls.
The new supreme law is one a requirement before fresh elections are held but President Mugabe is threatening to call them before the reforms.
The constitution making exercise has been hampered by lack of funds and constant bickering by partners in the inclusive government.
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