Statement regarding an Agreement on a new Constitution between the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 122

DATE PUBLISHED: 17 FEBRUARY 2006

DATE SUBMITTED: 22 MARCH 2006

Mr W J Seremane (DA) to ask the President of the Republic:

(1) With reference to his statement that the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) reached agreement on a new Constitution, (a) when was this agreement reached, (b) by whom and (c) what were the terms of the proposed Constitution;

(2) Whether the MDC was responsible for the breakdown in the negotiations over the new Constitution; if not, why not; if so, why;

(3) Whether, if agreement on a new Constitution has not been reached, the Government has developed a new approach to addressing the Zimbabwe crisis; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
N135E

REPLY:

The South African government has, on an ongoing basis, been in contact with relevant political role-players in Zimbabwe. It remains our standpoint that the Zimbabwean people should find a homegrown solution to what is, ultimately, a domestic challenge. However, if South Africa can, or is invited to contribute to the process of resolving some of the challenges facing Zimbabwe, we will as a responsible member of the SADC region and the Continent - be more than willing to do so. South Africa's involvement in these processes can only be with the consent or at the invitation of the Zimbabwean people.

It is in this context that we are approached by individuals or representatives from the main political parties in Zimbabwe for assistance.

As we have stated before, informal talks took place nearly two years ago. One of the issues was a new constitution for Zimbabwe. The talks reached a stage where a draft new constitution was initialed by representatives of the parties involved but the process did not continue as new problems arose.

It is unfortunately not appropriate to provide more details on this matter in the light of the sensitive nature of such discussions.

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