20 Dec 2011- Zanu PF has blocked work on drafting the country’s new constitution accusing the drafters of trying to sneak in provisions guaranteeing gay rights and dual citizenship.
The party’s COPAC co-chair, Paul Mangwana confirmed that he had written to the drafters to stop work claiming they were not including views from members of the public.
Mangwana told the state-run Herald newspaper that the drafters -- Justice Moses Chinhengo, Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crozier -- wanted a provision empowering judges to include rights of homosexuals on the basis of ‘‘natural differences''.
Zanu PF also suspected that the drafters planned to include a clause on dual citizenship to facilitate the return of whites who left the country.
"Having realised that you are not making reference to the source documents which record the frequencies on each issue, it is our position that the drafting process must stop forthwith until a comprehensive instruction is given to yourselves," Mangwana said in a letter to the drafters.
"The process of drafting the new constitution is premised on the agreement of the three main political parties that it should proceed. Once one of the parties expresses reservations about the process and demands that it be stopped, as we have done, you as drafters are obliged to stop until the three political parties reach a consensus on the resumption of the process."
Zanu PF has all along accused the MDC-T of holding back progress on the constitutional reforms in a bid to delay elections President Robert Mugabe wants held early next year.
Writing a new constitution is part of a raft of political reforms agreed under the Global Political Agreement which was facilitated by the regional SADC grouping.
Once completed the constitution is expected to be put to a referendum, leading to the elections.