COPAC draft to be presented to parliament in February

COPAC co-chairman and MDC-T spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora

By Tichaona Sibanda
22 January 2013

Zimbabweans on Tuesday inched closer to getting a new constitution, after the three drafters handed in the revised copy of the draft to the COPAC co-chairmen in Harare.

The draft, described as the ‘final’ document by COPAC co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora, will be presented to the parliamentary select committee on Monday for formal adoption, as dictated by the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

“After that we will wait for the opening of Parliament in the first week of February to present the draft to the legislators,” Mwonzora said.

It is expected that after its presentation to Parliament, a committee of experts will convene to draft questions that will form the basis on which Zimbabweans will either vote for, or against the draft constitution in a referendum.

The three COPAC drafters who included the amendments proposed by the parties in the GPA last week were Moses Chinhengo, a former High Court judge, Priscilla Madzonga, a senior legal practitioner and former drafter in the Attorney-General’s office, and Brian Crozier, a former director of legal drafting in the Attorney-General’s office.

Mwonzora said the draft they received Tuesday contains no material or significant changes to the draft that was produced on 18th July last year, explaining that the current draft seeks to make things clearer than the previous one.

“We have also simplified the language so that people who are not skilled in law are able to follow this draft. Starting next week, we will prepare the vernacular copies in all the languages,” added Mwonzora.

He emphasized that the handover of the document on Tuesday has almost closed any window to make amendments, which had been proposed by those opposed to the draft.

“We are aware there are some people who may want to revise this process as a way to derail the progress. We are no longer interested in any other input, the people of Zimbabwe spoke, we negotiated and we finished and the draft we have is now the final draft,” Mwonzora said.

The Nyanga North MP said that Zimbabweans should be ready to “cross over into Canaan after four years of wondering in the wilderness in search of a new constitution.”

The draft is expected to be made available in about two weeks time.

10 Responsesto “COPAC draft to be presented to parliament in February”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Let`s see whether we are going to cross over to Canaan peacefully.

  2. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    What a beautiful piece of work, Tichaona Sibanda!!!!!! It is factual and to the point. There is now real competition at SW Radio Africa with the coming back on scene by Violet Gonda, who also strives to be objective in her work. All the same, I give you my thumbs-up, Tichaona Sibanda.

  3. Yepec says:

    Should the YES vote prevail in the coming Referendum, Madhuku, his rugtag band of followers in the NCA and Wilbert Mukori, will have been repudiated by the Zimbabwean electorate. Repeatedly, they have been asked to put forward their strategy for a free and fair elections plus a way to a democratic dispensation.

    Since they didn’t and could not; let it be known to them that the answer is “unless there is a commitment to the Constitution and rule of law by all, a resolve to honour the poll results and an intent to implement the principles of the document: no amount of force or a number of democratic reforms will make the polls free of violence”. The fact that these people cannot come up with solutions to particular political situations, shows how much of demagogues they represent to the oppressed people.

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      I have said and will say it again here that this Copac constitution is too feeble and weak to guarantee free and fair elections. From your statement above you clearly agree for you are already giving excuses why this Copac rubbish is doomed to fail.

      I agree there is need “for commitment to the Constitution and rule of law
      by all” but what you are clearly failing to get you head round is the fact
      that the constitution you are asking people to commit themselves must be clear, strong and precise and not weak, feeble and wishy-washy.

      One of the reasons why we have the culture of political violence is that our Police, Army and CIO Officers have been politicized. There is no distinction between ZRP and Zanu PF, indeed it is no exaggeration to say in Zimbabwe the Police are there to serve Zanu PF interests above all other interests. The SA constitution has stopped the Police behaving in partisan manner in precise and clear way;

      Section 199 subsection 6 to 8 of the SA Constitution state:

      6. No member of any security service may obey a manifestly illegal order.

      7. Neither the security services, nor any of their members, may, in the performance of their functions ­prejudice
      a. political party interest that is legitimate in terms of the Constitution; or

      b. further, in a partisan manner, any interest of a political party.

      8. To give effect to the principles of transparency and accountability, multi-party parliamentary committees must have oversight of all security services in a manner determined by national legislation or the rules and orders of Parliament.

      Mugabe did not want a something similar included in Copac constitution because the status quo in which the Police turn a blind eye and even actively take part in political violence against his political opponents suits him best and did not want that changed.

      The right to free and fair elections is an inalienable right and it is the corner stone of good governance. To trade this right in return for Mugabe agreeing to the presidents serving a maximum of two five-year terms is the height of stupidity.

      It is like you forcing your daughter give up her right to marry a man of her choice and instead force her to marry some savage arguing it has been agreed she can divorce him in ten years. You then strut around thinking you are very clever and did her a big favor. If her right to choice who to marry was safe and guaranteed she would never have to put up with the brute for one second let alone ten years of physical and mental abuse!

      If Zimbabweans are denied a meaningful say in who will be president because the elections were not free and fair it will be little comfort to know the impostor will rule for a maximum of ten years!

      I have given alternatives solutions: I would have never compromised on a constitution that does not guarantee basic democratic rights including the right to free and fair elections and the right to life. Never ever!

      Since this dysfunctional GNU has imposed this rubbish Copac constitution; people must vote NO in the referendum!
      If Zimbabwe had a free media and the Zimbabwean people had a real chance to evaluate the truth about the Copac constitution and know
      they are being lied to about it bring free and fair elections: I will bet my
      bottom dollar the NO vote will carry the day. The Zimbabweans are ignorant but do not make the mistake of thinking they are stupid!

      • Yepec says:

        You do best what you know. As usual you did not provide an answer to the question of electorate violence by and that Zanu PF, is in power. The last sentence of the comment was deliberately put there so that you do not miss or evade it.

        It will be posted again. In your answer, own up to your mistake all along, shut up for once if you do not have anything to say and do not write a useless thesis to distract readers instead.

        “The fact that these people cannot come with particular, political solutions, shows how much of demagogues they represent to the oppressed people”. Now, can you comment on the observation as it relates to the particular, Zimbabwean situation and was put in quotes for you to see it?

        • wilbert_mukori says:

          You are just too thick to understand anything!

          • Yepec says:

            So says the thicket. Is that all you can give for an answer? Surprising that a man known for producing a thesis where a simple sentence is needed cannot write anything because he has been caught on his game of fooling,. So whether you write or not, the Copac Draft will go to Parliament and, thereafter, be voted upon by the Zimbabwean electorate in a Referendum likely to produce Yes vote.

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            No he is not. It is you, a political analyst who does not understand what he is talking about. It is just that you are the darling of SW Radio Africa, that is why your articles are not deleted as is the case with mine. You write a lot of crap, but you write what SW Radio Africa wants to hear. That is all there is to it, mate. I have written the truth about you, but my articles have always been deleted when I tell you the truth. Yepec is spot on, mate.

  4. Yepec says:

    Let us see how much your Political Analyst fares in the coming referendum against the Zimbabwean electorate. All demagoguery messages will be rejected and its authors left by the wayside.

  5. wilbert_mukori says:

    MP Mangwana has let the cat out of the bag; Mugabe “dictated the new constitution”!

    Well after all the posturing and chest drumming by Mr Monzora pretending he was
    the co-author of the Copac constitution. He carried and talked about the
    constitution as if he was Leonard De Vinc carrying the Mona Lisa. Now it turns
    out that he was nothing more than a copy typist! All that time and money was
    really wasted; what a pompous and useless snob!
    Mr Monzoro you owe the nation an apology and then give that motor mouth a rest!

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