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President Zuma's latest visit"¦ a test on the facilitator and GPA parties' resolve and Commitment to Process

South African President Jacob Zuma's facilitation team will be visiting Zimbabwe on Tuesday the 28th of July 2012, in an attempt to facilitate the breaking of the constitution draft deadlock. The deadlock, which arose after ZANU PF disowned its contributions and secondments to the COPAC process through disowning and amending the COPAC Draft, by ZANU-PF's supreme decision-making organ in between congresses, the Politburo. The Politburo, on the 25th of August 2012 endorsed the amendments to the draft constitution made by the party saying the changes are final and non-negotiable.   Earlier ZANU PF had blamed its own lieutenants to COPAC and its management Committee, saying they had failed to be sensitive to the party's positions.

The visit by President Zuma's facilitation team is seen as a test. A test of the resolve of the facilitator to stick to previously agreed terms and not be side tracked by attempts to veer of course. It is also a test of the facilitator's commitment to process, especially as agreed to by the parties to Zimbabwe's GPA, who co-authored and signed the GPA, which carries article six on the constitution.

The visit is also a test on the 2 MDC formations who thus far, had remained loyal to the COPAC process that they had agreed to with ZANU PF, in spite of their own reservations with some of the clauses implanted onto the draft by ZANU PF, and their own demands that they had had to cede.

The Facilitation team is also visiting to assess and monitor the progress made so far on resolutions made in Maputo, Mozambique, on the 18th of August 2012. The Summit resolved that if there were any difficulties with regard to the Constitution and implementation of agreements, the Facilitator should be called upon to engage with the parties and assist them in resolving such issues, bearing in mind the timeframes and the necessity to hold free and fair elections.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is of the persuasion that the facilitator on this latest visit should do several things:
1. Urge the parties to the GPA to respect Processes that they agreed to as part of the GPA, which SADC as a regional body has given credence and weight to through constant support.

2. Urge ZANU PF to stop being recalcitrant, and submit whatever reservations they may have on the draft to the second all stakeholders' conference as process demands, or wait to vote down the draft at the referendum.

3. Remind parties to the GPA to commit to full implementation of the GPA by adhering to Article 6 which does not in any clause say parties must come up with draft constitutions and present them to Principals.

4. Signatories to the GPA to develop a Roadmap with timelines that are guided by the requirements of the process necessary for adoption of the constitution and the creation of conditions for free and fair elections to be held.

5. To urge ZANU-PF to respect that the authority on the constitution making process is COPAC and not ZANU-PF or any other party in the inclusive government, while realising that a peaceful and credible constitutional referendum would represent an important milestone in the preparation of democratic elections.

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