Who was who in the Parliamentary Select Committee?


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On 12 April 2009, two months after the formation of the inclusive government, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Lovemore Moyo, announced the formation of the Parliamentary Select Committee for a New Constitution.

The PSCC is a 25-member body composed of MPs from all three political parties in Parliament. Party representation on the PSCC is roughly proportional to the seats held by each party in Parliament.

 

Membership was as follows:

ZANU-PF (11)

House of Assembly (7): Flora Buka; Walter Chidakwa; Edward Chindori-Chininga; Joram Gumbo; Martin Khumalo; Paul Mangwana; Olivia Muchena

Senate (4): Fortune Charumbira (President of Council of Chiefs); Tambudzai Mahdi; Thokozani Mathuthu; Monica Mutsvangwa

 

MDC-T (11)

House of Assembly (7): Amos Chibaya; Ian Kay; Cephas Makuyana; Evelyn Masaiti; Editor Matamisa; Douglas Mwonzora; Brian Tshuma

 Senate (4): Gift Chimanikire; Gladys Dube; Jessie Majome; Jabulani Ndlovu

 

MDC-M (3)

House of Assembly (1): Edward Mkhosi

 Senate (2): David Coltart; Dalumuzi Khumalo

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 09HARARE323, ZIMBABWEAN CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESS KICKS OFF

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE323

2009-04-17 09:33

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO2382

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0323/01 1070933

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 170933Z APR 09 ZDK

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4386

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 2779

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 2900

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1345

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2165

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2530

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2948

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5389

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2067

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 000323

 

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: 04/17/2019

TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC PHUM ZI

SUBJECT: ZIMBABWEAN CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESS KICKS OFF

 

REF: HARARE 264

 

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

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (SBU) The Speaker of the House of Assembly announced on

April 12 the formation of a Parliamentary Select Committee

charged with directing the process to form a new Zimbabwean

constitution. The membership of the committee is divided on

a proportional basis between the three political parties. A

chairperson to head the committee has still not been chosen,

and the decision to select either an independent chair or an

MP has been referred to party principals. Civil society

groups quickly came out in opposition to the constitutional

process, charging that they are not being adequately

represented. END SUMMARY.

 

——————————————— –

Parliament Meets First Constitutional Deadline

——————————————— –

 

2. (SBU) On April 12, the Speaker of the House of Assembly,

Lovemore Moyo, announced the formation of the Parliamentary

Select Committee for a New Constitution (PSCC). The PSCC is

a 25-member body composed of MPs from all three political

parties seated in Parliament. Party representation on the

PSCC is roughly proportional to the seats held by each party

in Parliament.

 

Membership is as follows:

 

ZANU-PF (11)

House of Assembly (7): Flora Buka; Walter Chidakwa; Edward

Chindori-Chininga; Joram Gumbo; Martin Khumalo; Paul

Mangwana; Olivia Muchena

 

Senate (4): Fortune Charumbira (President of Council of

Chiefs); Tambudzai Mahdi; Thokozani Mathuthu; Monica

Mutsvangwa

 

MDC-T (11)

House of Assembly (7): Amos Chibaya; Ian Kay; Cephas

Makuyana; Evelyn Masaiti; Editor Matamisa; Douglas Mwonzora;

Brian Tshuma

 

Senate (4): Gift Chimanikire; Gladys Dube; Jessie Majome;

Jabulani Ndlovu

 

MDC-M (3)

House of Assembly (1): Edward Mkhosi

 

Senate (2): David Coltart; Dalumuzi Khmalo

 

3. (SBU) According to the Inter-Party Political Agreement

(IPA) signed last September, the PSCC is responsible for

directing the process of forming a new national Zimbabwean

constitution. This will include setting up sub-committees

charged with focusing on specific aspects of the

constitution, holding public hearings on constitutional

issues, convening an “All Stakeholders Conference” (ASC) to

gain widespread buy-in, preparing a constitutional draft

document, and making progress reports to Parliament.

 

—————————-

The Constitutional Timetable

—————————-

 

4. (SBU) The IPA laid out a very specific timetable that

 

HARARE 00000323 002 OF 003

 

 

culminates in a new constitution approximately a year and a

half after the formation of an inclusive government. The

PSCC formation came just a day before the April 13 deadline

imposed by the IPA. The next deadline will be the holding of

a first ASC by July 13, 2009. This is followed by up to four

months of public consultation, before a first draft is

presented to a second ASC no later than February 13, 2010.

If the process continues on course, a new constitution will

be brought to Parliament for a vote by October 13, 2010.

 

————————

Who Will Chair the PSCC?

————————

 

5. (SBU) A PSCC chairperson has still not been selected, and

the final decision has been referred to the party principals:

President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai, and Deputy Prime

Minister Mutambara. Seaker Moyo and the MDC members of

Parliament have supported nominating an independent candidate

for the seat; a retired judge has been rumored to be the

MDC’s preferred candidate. ZANU-PF MPs oppose this

proposition and argue that in keeping with parliamentary

rules and Constitutional Amendment 19, an MP must fill the

seat. The MDC has countered that Parliamentary rules can be

suspended and altered, as occurred when both the HOA and

Senate suspended rules in February and March to allow for

expedited passage of Amendment 19 and the National Security

Bill.

 

————————————-

Civil Society Comes Out in Opposition

————————————-

 

6. (SBU) On April 15, a coalition of civil society groups

led by the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and backed

by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, women’s

organizations, churches, and student groups vowed to oppose

the constitutional process. Lovemore Madhuku, president of

the NCA, said that the constitutional process is “parliament

driven and we reject it… we are campaigning for a no vote

because we believe the process is defective and not people

driven.” Madhuku objects to the PSCC’s wholly

parliamentarian membership, the use of the September 2007

Kariba draft constitution as a basis document, and sequencing

that allows Parliament to debate and amend a draft after

public consultation and the two ASCs have been completed.

(NOTE: The Kariba draft constitution was negotiated in 2007

at the start of the SADC process by Patrick Chinamasa and

Nicholas Goche, representing ZANU-PF, and Tendai Biti and

Welshman Ncube, representing the two MDC factions. END NOTE.)

 

7. (SBU) The Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary

Affairs, Eric Matinenga (MDC-T), criticized Madhuku’s

position and argued that the process is in fact people driven

by virtue that the MPs are elected officials. He also stated

that the chairs of the two ASCs would be representatives of

civil society. He dismissed the notion that the Kariba draft

would form the starting point of the draft process; it would

Qwould form the starting point of the draft process; it would

serve only as a reference document.

 

——-

COMMENT

——-

 

8. (C) In keeping with Speaker Moyo’s priorities (reftel),

Parliament is moving forward with the constitutional process.

The MDC views a new constitution as a mechanism that will

allow them to enact broad political and legislative reforms

and prevent future abuses of government authority. Meeting

this first deadline was an important, but relatively

straight-forward first step. The inability to select a chair

 

HARARE 00000323 003 OF 003

 

 

is somewhat worrisome though, as far greater battles loom

once debate begins on constitutional issues of substance such

as land reform, media freedoms, human rights, and limits on

executive authority. END COMMENT.

 

MCGEE

(11 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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