6 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Mugabe Still Trying to Subvert Copac Process

Photo: Buanews
File photo: President Jacob Zuma, center, with President Robert Mugabe, right, on a previous working visit to Zimbabwe.

There are reports saying that Robert Mugabe's attempt to subvert the COPAC process will fail as no other principal to the GPA supports his demands for the draft constitution be brought before the three principals, before being tabled in Parliament.

A highly placed source in COPAC told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that even ZANU PF officials in the management select committee spearheading the draft charter, differ with Mugabe.

COPAC has been working flat out since last week to produce a report detailing the proceedings of the Second All Stakeholders Conference. They missed a Monday deadline to hand over that report to Parliament and are now expected to complete the report Wednesday.

The state media has been saying that the constitution making process now lies under the portfolio of the principals, who will ensure that the views of the people are clearly articulated.

Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme said it is a big lie by ZANU PF that the principals want to ensure that the views of the people are clearly articulated in the new charter.

'This is an attempt by ZANU PF to smuggle their amendments into the new charter after failing to do before and after the Second All Stakeholders conference.

'But analysts predict that this attempt will fail without the cooperation of Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube from the MDC formations.

'SADC, as the guarantors of this GPA, will be following events of this COPAC process very closely to ensure it's completed in a fair manner that does not disadvantage other stakeholders,' Saungweme said.

It is understood contentious issues in the draft include executive powers, dual citizenship, appointment of governors and devolution of power.

Recently the three COPAC co-chairmen reiterated that the country will hold a referendum on a new Constitution by January next year, if the remaining processes move smoothly.

There are fears that different views expressed by delegates to the conference will delay the process, as these need to be ironed out before the draft can be presented to Parliament for debate.

After the debate the draft will be taken for a vote in a referendum to decide whether it should be adopted as the new constitution for the country. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it needs about US$104 million to hold the referendum.

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