Moyo said ZANU-PF plan had been foiled


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Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo said efforts by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front to delay the constitutional process were foiled and provincial meetings had started.

He said donor nations were providing funding for the constitutional process and MDC-M senator David Coltart had been asked to establish a fund to assure donors that the funds were not at risk.

Provincial meetings were to start in Harare, then move on to Mashonaland and end in Matebeleland.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE525, THE BUSINESS OF PARLIAMENT IN ZIMBABWE

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

09HARARE525

2009-06-29 13:19

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO1389

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0525/01 1801319

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 291319Z JUN 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4656

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2916

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3035

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1467

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RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2665

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3083

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5526

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2211

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000525

 

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

STATE PASS TO NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MICHELLE GAVIN

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/29/2019

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ZI

SUBJECT: THE BUSINESS OF PARLIAMENT IN ZIMBABWE

 

Classified By: Ambassador James D. McGee for reason 1.4 (b) and (d)

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Lovemore Moyo,

updated Post on the Constitutional drafting process and the

formation of vital commissions that are expected to drive

reforms within the media, electoral process, human rights,

and corruption spheres. Speaker Moyo also clarified that —

in keeping with procedural norms and despite the MDC-T’s

superior numbers in Parliament — the legislative process and

any reform of existing repressive laws would originate from

Cabinet and not Parliament. END SUMMARY.

 

—————————————–

New Constitution and Commissions on Track

—————————————–

 

2. (C) Parliamentary Speaker Lovemore Moyo told polecon

chief and poloff on June 23 that the next stage in the

constitutional process is beginning as scheduled in late

June. In keeping with the timeline stipulated in the Global

Political Agreement (GPA), provincial meetings will be held

in each of Zimbabwe’s ten provinces beginning on June 25 in

Harare, and then progress from Mashonaland in the North to

Matabeleland in the South several days later. The purpose of

the meetings is to educate voters on the constitutional

process, elicit their input, and identify delegates for the

upcoming &All Stakeholders Conference8 in mid-July.

 

3. (C) Moyo was pleased that despite an effort by ZANU-PF

party members to delay the provincial meetings, they were

being held without delay.   Some donor nations are providing

funding for the Constitutional process, and MDC-M Senator

David Coltart has been asked to establish a fund to assure

donors that the funds were not at risk of abuse.

 

4. (C) Moyo also discussed the process of forming the Media,

Electoral, Anti-Corruption, and Human Rights Commissions.

Currently, Parliament is collecting and culling applications

from the public to staff these commissions. June 26 was the

final day candidates could submit their applications.

Parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders Committee will

establish the methodology to use to determine eligibility.

Moyo stressed that the selections would be independent of

party affiliation. He also clarified that all four

Commissions would require some form of enabling legislation.

 

5. (C) The Speaker defended criticism from certain activist

groups such as the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and

the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) that they were

not being invited to participate in the Commissions, by

explaining that Parliament did not want organizations to

nominate individuals. Rather it wanted individuals to apply

and allow Parliament to determine their eligibility.

Specific to the Media Commission, Moyo noted that some

representatives of MISA, the National Association of NGOs

(NANGO), and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) were

Q(NANGO), and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) were

refusing to submit applications because they were opposed to

the existence of a statutory media oversight body; they

believed the media should be self-regulating.

 

——————————————— –

Reform-Minded Legislation to Come From Cabinet

——————————————— –

 

6. (C) In response to questions on how best to use the

MDC-T’s strength in Parliament to amend or repeal repressive

laws such as POSA and AIPPA, Moyo explained that Parliament’s

 

HARARE 00000525 002 OF 002

 

 

role in the legislative process was to pass or reject

legislation proposed by Ministers through Cabinet. He

conceded that in theory a &Private Member Bill8 could be

drafted by an MP and voted on in Parliament; however, members

proposing legislation would have to personally bear extensive

printing and distribution costs. Most important, there would

be resistance within Cabinet and ZANU-PF would raise charges

that Parliament was being manipulated by western forces.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

7. (C) As explained by Moyo, legislation is formulated by

ministries and drafted in conjunction with the Attorney

General’s office. This makes critical legislative reform

unlikely in the near term. It also threatens the timely

creation of enabling legislation for the four new

commissions. MDC and civil society priorities are the repeal

or amendment of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA)

which regulates meetings, demonstrations, and protests; the

Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA)

which regulates print journalism; the Zimbabwe Broadcasting

Act which is responsible for television and radio; and

establishment of an independent Media Commission. The

responsible ministries — Justice and Information — are

headed by ZANU-PF stalwarts Patrick Chinamasa and Webster

Shamu. Neither has shown interest in reform.

 

8. (C) Other problematic issues are likely to emerge from

the drawn out commission process. For instance, the

constitutionally-defunct Media and Information Commission

(MIC) is attempting to maintain its authority to issue

journalist accreditations. At the COMESA summit earlier this

month, the MIC refused several independent journalists access

to the event despite statements by PM Tsvangirai and the

Attorney General’s Office saying that Constitutional

Amendment 19 had negated the MIC’s statutory authorities.

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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