Moyo said constitutional process would cost US$19 million


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Speaker of Parliament said the constitution making process would cost US$19 million but the ministries that were responsible- Finance and Constitutional Affairs- were revisiting the figure.

The final figure was, however, reported to have more than doubled this figure and was estimated at US$45 million.

Constitutional Committee co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora also warned that the process should be completed in the 18-months stipulated in the Global Political Agreement as this could cause problems but the process took more than double the time.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE526, HOUSE SPEAKER BRIEFS ON ZIM CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESS

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

09HARARE526

2009-06-29 13:44

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1401

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0526/01 1801344

ZNR UUUUU ZZH

O 291344Z JUN 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4658

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2918

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3037

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1469

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2300

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2667

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3085

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5528

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2213

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000526

 

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR J. HARMON AND L. DOBBINS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: HOUSE SPEAKER BRIEFS ON ZIM CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESS

 

REF: HARARE 525

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) House of Assembly Speaker Lovemore Moyo briefed

diplomats June 24 on the constitutional process. According

to Moyo, it is on track, as specified in the Global Political

Agreement (GPA), to be completed within 18 months from the

inception of the inclusive government on February 11.

Current budget estimates for the entire process are US$19

million, although this is being reviewed. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (SBU) House of Assembly Speaker Moyo briefed diplomats on

the constitutional process on June 24. He was joined by

Senate President Edna Madzongwe (ZANU-PF) and Douglas

Mwonzora (MDC-T) who chairs the Select Committee on the

Constitution along with Paul Mangwana (ZANU-PF) and David

Coltart (MDC-M).

 

3. (SBU) Moyo told diplomats the constitutional process was

on track. The preparatory phase was now underway. Members

of the Select Committee and staff were visiting the provinces

to identify stakeholders and to identify possible thematic

subcommittees. Preparations would then be made for the first

“All Stakeholders Conference” to be held between July 9 and

July 12 this year. At the Conference, subcommittees would be

constituted.

 

4. (SBU) Between July 13 and November 13, according to Moyo,

a consultative phase would take place in which the

subcommittees would solicit input from citizens around the

country. Also, a coordination structure would be

established. After this phase, each thematic subcommittee,

with the aid of experts, would produce reports and submit

them to a yet-to-be-constituted drafting committee.

 

5. (SBU) Moyo appealed for donor assistance. He said the

draft budget is US$19 million, although the government

ministries (finance and constitutional affairs), which are

responsible for funding the process, were revisiting this

figure. He also noted the government was considering

establishing a trust fund to collect and disburse monies.

 

6. (SBU) Mwonzora insisted the 18-month time frame for the

drafting of a new constitution should not be extended. To do

so would require renegotiating the Global Political Agreement

(GPA) and risk renegotiation of other issues as well.

 

7. (SBU) ZANU-PF and Mugabe have strongly advocated using a

draft developed by Patrick Chinamasa (ZANU-PF), Tendai Biti

(MDC-T) and Welshman Ncube (MDC-M) in 2007 after the

commencement of the SADC mediation process, as the basis of

the new constitution. The 2007 negotiations took place at

Lake Kariba, and the resulting document is referred to as the

Kariba draft. The stated rationale of ZANU-PF and Mugabe for

using the Kariba draft is that it is a known quantity agreed

to by all three parties and its adoption, or a near

facsimile, would simplify and speed the process. The MDC and

civil society have pushed back strongly stating they want a

“people driven” constitution. Mwonzora addressed the

controversial Kariba draft constitution and said it could be

considered, as could any other draft, but should not be a

Qconsidered, as could any other draft, but should not be a

basis of the new constitution. Despite this, elements of

civil society, including Lovemore Madhuku and the influential

National Constitutional Alliance, have refused to accept the

constitutional process outlined in the GPA. They view the

central role of Parliament as inappropriate, even if an

effort is made to solicit public input.

 

 

HARARE 00000526 002 OF 002

 

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (SBU) Parliament has been largely inactive and we are not

hopeful it will enact legislative reform measures in the near

term (Ref). The constitutional process is the one area where

Parliament has been engaged, and so far it is adhering to the

timetable set out in the GPA. A new constitution is a

predicate to new elections under the GPA. A valid

constitutional process, however, will require significant

resources (although quite likely not in the amount suggested

by Moyo).

 

9. (SBU) We expect the battle over the Kariba draft to heat

up. ZANU-PF and Mugabe support the Kariba draft because it

is a known quantity and provides for strong executive powers.

Additionally, insisting on the Kariba draft is a way for

Mugabe to derail or slow the constitutional process and to

therefore delay elections. He is in no hurry for elections

which, as things stand now, he and ZANU-PF would almost

certainly lose. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

 

(8 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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