THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

Zimbabwe draft constitution circulated to Mugabe, political leaders
Blessing Zulu, Voice of America (VOA)
November 05, 2007

Washington - Leaders of Zimbabwe's major parties including President Robert Mugabe, who heads the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, and faction leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change have officially received copies of a draft constitution put together by their negotiators in South African-mediated crisis talks. Sources said Zanu PF negotiators are tacitly calling for a government of national unity, but MDC negotiators want to see the country shift away from the executive presidency to a traditional parliamentary model with a prime minister. Ruling party and opposition sources said that the draft constitution would only limit the president to two five-year terms and also features a US-style bill of rights. Despite these developments, there is concern in some quarters that the question of Western sanctions could derail the crisis resolution process.

Ruling party negotiators insist the MDC must lobby the US and other nations to lift their targeted sanctions. Opposition negotiators say they are not in a position to do this, but sources said that a compromise might be reached whereby South Africa and Zimbabwe's opposition might convince the Western nations imposing sanctions on President Mugabe and his inner circle to lift them temporarily to keep the crisis-resolution process on track.

Negotiators this week are also to take up the precise date for next year's elections. The opposition is calling for the local, general and presidential ballots to be pushed off if the accords reached in Pretoria cannot be implemented in time for the elections to be held in March as proposed by the ruling party and President Mugabe. Senior Researcher Chris Maroleng of the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa told VOA that he considers the compromise draft constitution to be a step in the right direction.

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.