COPAC co-chairs report progress in constitutional talks

MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora 

By Tichaona Sibanda
08 January 2013

The COPAC co-chairmen representing parties to the GPA have reported progress in their efforts to overcome differences holding up the finalization of the country’s new constitution.

It appears all the sides have made concessions on the four occasions the co-chairmen have met in the last two weeks. There have reportedly been ‘intense’ discussions to remove remaining obstacles to the constitution making process.

The process ran into significant difficulties last year with all parties failing to agree with six chapters dealing with the devolution of power, executive authority, national prosecuting authority, peace and reconciliation commission, land committee and running mates.

Douglas Mwonzora, the co-chairman representing the MDC-T, told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that following four meetings in the last fortnight, they’ve provisionally managed to iron out everything, with the exception of the issue of running mates.

Mwonzora disclosed that on devolution, at the insistence of ZANU PF, they inserted a preamble that describes it as not meaning ‘cessation or divisionism, but an answer to uneven development.’

‘On the land commission, we’ve agreed that the appointment of the executive committee would involve parliament. Since Zimbabwe will not be in a perpetual state of conflict, we agreed that the national peace and reconciliation commission will be removed from the constitution after 7 years,’ Mwonzora said.

Although the Nyanga North MP was non-committal about the remaining difference on running mates, SW Radio Africa is reliably informed the COPAC chairs felt the discussion needed the input of the principals, the individuals most affected by this provision in the constitution.

‘In the interim, the co-chairs have decided to retain the running mates clause in the constitution and deal with what happens in the transitional period, between now and the elections.

‘It has been recommended to the cabinet committee to work out a special provision that will deal with the selection of the Vice Presidents in the transitional period,’ a source said.

Mwonzora confirmed that the cabinet committee will meet in Harare this week to try and deal with the issue of the running mates, as well as tentatively agreeing on the issues that the co-chairs thrashed out in the last two weeks.

6 Responsesto “COPAC co-chairs report progress in constitutional talks”

  1. sim says:

    How about DUAL CITIZENSHIP??????

  2. wilbert_mukori says:

    How about a constitution that will safe guard the people’s right to free and fair elections and the right to life itself?
    Copac is a waste of time and money and Zimbabweans will have only themselves to blame if let this dysfunctional GNU get away with yet another election process marred by violence!

    • Yepec says:

      Wilbert Mukori, you are wasting your time saying the same things, over and over again. Until you give a strategy that provides a Constitution that guards the rights taken away from the masses and would guarantee them against potential despots and dictators – you are practising cheap witchcraft here.

      Current Party leaders have, also, an interest in their positions and can say anything that gets them a following. If you did not know that “Zimbabweans are ready to give support for a strategy that genuinely liberates them from their present nightmare of oppression” then you are being told now.

      • wilbert_mukori says:

        It took many, many weeks to explain to you why the Copac draft was weak and would not stop Mugabe using violence. Only last week Senator Obert Gutu was once again talking of implementing the reforms whilst Tsvangirai was calling on SADC “supervision” of Army during elections. We both know there is nothing MDC can do now to ensure free and fair elections. You can call that “a strategy that genuinely liberates” the people but the fact still remains MDC have failed to deliver free and fair elections!
        Freedom of expression is one other key right MDC have failed deliver and so millions of our people are still prone to follow like sheep whatever Tsvangirai or Mugabe says! Even with all the power of the public media to call upon, the GNU knows the battle for the referendum vote is yet to be won! No amount of propaganda can change the reality that the elections are NOT going to be free and fair!

  3. jongwe rachembera says:

    This constitution will safe guard the rights of the ruling elite to be free from prosecution from past human rights abuses and to protect their ill gotten wealth. A constitution for the ruling elite by the ruling elite. Democracy African style.

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      You said it all. This Copac constitution is a constitution by the ruling elite for the ruling elite. The ordinary Zimbabweans will have their chance to
      approve it or disapprove it in the upcoming referendum. They must reject it.

      Without free and fair elections it is nonsense to talk of a good and competent government. Look what happened in 2008, because Mugabe and Zanu PF were able to use violence they bought themselves enough political muscle to retain influence. The last five years have been a complete waste of time, money and all paid in untold human suffering and deaths.

      Tsvangirai and his MDC friends have done very well in the last five years; life on the gravy train is nothing but milk and honey. Just as Mugabe has allowed Tsvangirai and his friends on the gravy train Tsvangirai has accepted the reality that he too will have to allow Mugabe and some of his cronies to retain some political power. This is only possible is they are allowed to use force hence Tsvangirai is resigned to the reality there will be no free and fair elections.

      Tsvangirai and MDC will have nothing to lose by allowing Zanu PF back
      into power; the GNU has shown how new ministerial coaches can be added to the gravy train to accommodate whatever size of government. It is the people who cannot afford another dysfunctional government for one month longer!

      Zimbabweans must reject the Copac draft constitution and thus force the
      implementation of the reforms necessary for free and fair elections before any elections are hold.

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