ZANU PF infuriated by SA Foreign Affairs Minister
By Tichaona Sibanda
06 March 2012
South Africa’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, drew fire
from ZANU PF officials after suggesting elections in Zimbabwe can only be
held after the finalisation of the constitution-making process.
In a reply to a parliamentary question about delays in the drafting of a new
constitution, Nkoana-Mashabane said Pretoria expects the power-sharing
agreement to be fully in place, with a new constitution approved by
referendum, before new elections.
‘A committee is drafting a new constitution, after which a referendum and
then elections should be held. Our government therefore expects that there
would be no deviation from the provisions of the GPA,’ she added.
The comments provoked a rapid and angry response from the former ruling
party. Didymus Mutasa, ZANU PF Secretary for Administration and a top Mugabe
ally said their leader will pronounce an election date with or without a new
constitution. Politburo member Jonathan Moyo told the South African Foreign
Minister to ‘shut up’.
‘This woman as an official of the South African government has no business
whatsoever commenting on this thing. Zimbabwe has never been a province of
South Africa, is not a province of South Africa and will never be a province
of South Africa,’ Moyo added.
A leading pro-democracy activist Dewa Mavhinga said he does not believe
South Africa will be concerned by the barking from senior officials within
‘It’s not anything new. It’s a sign of serious desperation at the shifting
sands of policy on the part of ANC which has seen a total rejection of
unreasonable calls by ZANU PF for an election,’ Mavhinga said.
On Mutasa’s statement that Mugabe can unilaterally call for an election with
or without a constitution, Mavhinga retorted: ‘Such madness may actually be
pronounced but it will not make a difference, it will not carry the day.’
He continued: ‘Remember South Africa is not there on its own but is
representing the weight of SADC and the regional bloc is fully behind
President Jacob Zuma and his team.’
On Monday co-chairman of COPAC, Douglas Mwonzora, said Zimbabwe will have a
fully completed draft constitution next month and a referendum in August or
The MDC-T MP for Nyanga North and party spokesman said that a technical team
that was revising all chapters of the new constitution completed their work
in Bulawayo. The new charter has 18 chapters.
On Friday COPAC will invite the drafters to look at the revised work. The
three principal constitution-drafters are former High Court judge Justice
Moses Chinhengo, Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crozier.