New committee set up to look at COPAC deadlock

Tsvangirai, Mugabe and Mutambara

By Tichaona Sibanda
27 November 2012

The three principals to the GPA have tasked a three member cabinet team with trying to break the COPAC deadlock, as they try to keep negotiations over the new constitution on track.

President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara resolved during their Monday meeting to set up this committee.

It will be made up of three cabinet ministers who will be responsible for devising a way to incorporate submissions from the second All-Stakeholders’ Conference on the new Constitution, which was held last month.

The three ministers will be drawn from ZANU PF and the two MDC formations. They will be joined in group discussions by the three COPAC co-chairs; Edward Mkhosi, Douglas Mwonzora and Paul Mangwana.

The move follows a deadlock in which finalization of the draft Constitution was shelved earlier this month following disagreements in the Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) in charge of drafting the governance charter.

George Charamba, Mugabe’s spokesman, told the state media on Monday the committee was only set to deal with areas of disagreement in the Second All-Stakeholders’ report.

He said anything that comes out of the committee would first be presented to the leaders in government and leaders of political parties. If they were happy with the report the party leaders would return it to COPAC, for onward transmission to Parliament.

But the setting up of this committee has drawn an angry response from many Zimbabweans who believe it is sheer waste of time coming up with additional structures, on top of COPAC and the management committee.

Dewa Mavhinga, policy research director with the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the principals should just resolve outstanding issues within the framework of the existing structures.

‘Is creating another structure the solution? I do not think so. This is sheer waste of time and resources because the buck stops with the principals. Already, too many structures including COPAC, the COPAC Management Committee, Parliament and the people’s views through a referendum, are there to be used to deal with issues arising from the draft,’ Mavhinga said.

7 Responsesto “New committee set up to look at COPAC deadlock”

  1. wilbert_mukori says:

    The one thing millions of Zimbabweans out there would have wanted in the new constitution to deliver is free and fair elections because without it nothing politically, economically and socially can change – the corruption, looting and oppression will continue! Everything, absolutely everything hinges on this one thing above also else – free and fair elections. And that is the one thing the Copac draft constitution that has failed to deliver.

    The Copac draft is “not perfect”, MP Mwonzora, PM Tsvangirai and the rest of the MDC leaders tells us. Typical isn’t! The nation has this one in a generation chance to replace this oppressive constitution with a democratic one and MDC scuffed it. They let themselves be bully into accepting the Copac draft which will never deliver the one thing millions of Zimbabweans wanted above all – particularly since the orgy of violence in 2008 elections! And they say the draft is “not perfect”; it is rubbish, a complete betrayal of the nation!

    At the Second All Stakeholders Conference there was a chance to amend the Copac draft; the most important being those necessary to ensure free elections. All the amendments to emerge from the Conference were from the Zanu PF delegates, MDC delegates had no amendments to improve the “not perfect” draft. So this newly appointed committee will only be considering whether to make a rubbish constitution even worse!

    Zimbabwe Vigil called the whole Copac draft constitution process an Alice In Wonderland “caucus rat race”. The nation is desperate to get out of this hell-hole it finds itself but is instead wasting time and money on a totally pointless charade! This is truly tragic!

    • david taylor says:

      I think you sum it up well -

      “The nation is desperate to get out of this hell-hole it finds itself”.

      And “So this newly appointed committee will only be considering whether to make a rubbish constitution even worse!”

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        Mutambara and Tsvangirai need the assistance of people like you and Wilbert Mukori. You all appear to be highly intelligent, learned and knowledgeable and we all wonder what you are f….g doing instead of rescuing these poor chaps. Why can’t you come out of your cocoons, and use your f…….g brains to help these poor fellas? Big pig headed mouths do not help anyone folks, that is for sure. Go home and participate instead of wasting your f…..g time in the diaspora talking sweet nothings.

  2. david taylor says:

    This corruption of the process is almost obscene. Of course this committee is not going to come to any agreement, because there will be no agreement until Mugabe gets his way. Again Tsvangirai backtracks, sides with Mugabe at the expense of Ncube (who has the fortitude to stand up to Mugabe), and again Mugabe makes no concessions.

    There is still no free access to the state controlled and funded media, ZANU-PF continues looting the country, they are now building monuments to themselves (using our money), and of course they have their military at the ready to insure they win any election that follows the referendum. I wonder if this constitution is going to change anything.

  3. Chris Gaza says:

    where is ncube, sidelined again

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      The photo was taken long before Ncube ostensibly became the Head of the MDC-N. Ostensibly because it is still one of the unknowns as to who is actually leading this political party as there is still bickering between Mutambara and Ncube. Do you know? I don’t.

  4. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    Oh yes they are all smiling. Mutambara followed by Tsvangirai appear to have the biggest smiles. I have no doubt lingering in my mind of the genuineness and sincerity of the three principals to the GPA.