Squabbles stall finalisation of Zim's new Constitution
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THE envisaged draft Constitution is not coming out anytime soon as squabbles between Copac co-chairpersons and the management committee have stalled the finalisation of the new supreme law.
The management committee, made up of GPA negotiators, yesterday said Copac had failed to produce a draft despite being given several deadlines, while the co-chairs said the management committee was failing to convene a meeting to resolve outstanding issues.
The co-chairs said instead of speeding up the process, the management committee had decided to go for another retreat in Nyanga from June 17 to 21 to tackle the so-called contentious issues.
This means there will be no progress between now and June 21, despite calls by the principals to expedite the process as the country prepares for elections expected this year.
Copac co-chair Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu-PF) yesterday said: â€œWe have a list of agreed and disagreed issues to take to the management committee for resolution, but there is no meeting in sight at the moment.
â€œIt was our hope that we would meet soon as the management committee to resolve disagreements, but we now understand there will be a retreat in Nyanga on June 17, a situation which drives the Constitution far from being completed.
â€œThe main disagreements we are seized with at the moment arose from the input of political parties and without the leadership of the negotiators, it means we will remain stuck and the process will not move forward. We are waiting for communication from them,â€ Cde Mangwana said.
Co-chairperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) said the management committee had not advised them on the way forward except informing them of the Nyanga retreat.
â€œParties are making outrageous demands, and this is what we want the management committee to tackle. There is no meeting in sight at the moment except that the next management committee meeting will be another retreat in Nyanga.
â€œNo one can accede to unreasonable demands by a political party and the management committee will be the best to tackle this. We are also waiting for the finalisation of the process because it has taken long,â€ he said.
Co-chair Mr Edward Mkhosi (MDC) said disagreements between political parties had stalled progress.
â€œThere is nothing going on at the moment and I am not aware when the management committee will meet. Politics is playing a central role in the process and there is no clear communication among members. We do not know how the process will be finalised,â€ he said.
However, the negotiators said Copac had failed to produce a draft and wanted to blame them for their â€œincapabilityâ€.
Cde Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu-PF) said Copac had promised to hand over a comprehensive draft on Monday, but nothing materialised.
â€œHave they given you a copy of their draft to show that they now have a document to forward to us?â€ he said.
â€œThey said they would bring the document on Monday and nothing came.
â€œThey promised to do so on Tuesday, but nothing came again and it simply means they donâ€™t have a draft to give us.
â€œThey should produce a draft and hand it over to us not to play their politics through the media.â€
Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC) said they were waiting for a draft.
â€œThese co-chairs always surprise us,â€ she said.
â€œLast week they told us that they were still reviewing the draft clause-by-clause and from that we never heard from them again. They donâ€™t have a draft to give us and instead of accusing us they should be working flat out to complete that draft before handing it to us so that we resolve the outstanding issues.â€
Asked why they were failing to rescue the process, the management committee said it was impossible â€œbecause we have rules to followâ€.
Sources said it was clear the process had been turned into a money-making venture.
â€œJust imagine pushing the process to June 17, it simply means that they are not serious and by going for another retreat it means they continue to fund-raise for their own benefit. How many retreats have they held to date? This is the reason why most people are clamouring for the disbandment of Copac,â€ the source said.
Input from political parties came after Zanu-PF insisted that the draft Copac produced did not reflect the views of the people.
MDC formations are standing by the draft.
Zanu-PF has since drafted a raft of proposals based on the national report that it says are not negotiable.
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