The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Copac Saga - Principals Strike Deal

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

LEADERS of parties to the inclusive Government have agreed to form a committee comprising three Cabinet ministers nominated by political parties to "expeditiously" resolve areas of contestation in the Second All-Stakeholders' substantive report.

The report encompasses all issues compiled by Copac after the Second All-Stakeholders' Conference and the input added by the Management Committee after receiving the report from Copac.

All Copac co-chairpersons, Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu-PF), Mr Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) and Mr Edward Mkosi (MDC), would join the three Cabinet ministers.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga would also sit in that committee as the convener and chairperson.

Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba confirmed the development, saying the committee was not a substitute to Copac.

He said the committee was only set to deal with areas of disagreement in the substantive Second All-Stakeholders' report.

"Minister Matinenga was tasked by leaders of political parties to look at the whole document (Second All-Stakeholders' substantive report) with a view to recommend a way forward to the Principals.

"Today's (yesterday) meeting allowed Minister Matinenga to table his recommendations to leaders of political parties.

"The minister recommended that a mechanism outside the Parliamentary process should be found by the three political parties to resolve the contested matters.

"The leaders of the political parties agreed that each political party nominates a member from Cabinet who will sit on the committee that will work expeditiously towards a resolution on the contested issues."

Mr Charamba said the product of that committee would at the first instance go back to the leaders in Government and leaders of political parties.

Upon satisfaction, said Mr Charamba, the party leaders and leaders in Government would return the report to Copac for onward transmission to Parliament.

"Thereafter, the process will continue as visualised in the Global Political Agreement where the document has to go Parliament for further interrogation."

Before the meeting of leaders of political parties that include President Mugabe, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and Professor Welshman Ncube, there was a routine meeting of Principals that included Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, minus Prof Ncube.

Although Mr Charamba refused to divulge the contents of the substantive report, he said the report was divided into three notable parts.

The first part, he said, covers provisions in the draft where no one raised queries and the second part is the provision in the draft where comments were made without attracting contestations.

Mr Charamba said the last part relates to provisions where there where disagreements in the draft Constitution.

Minister Matinenga also confirmed that he presented his recommendations to the Principals.

He said MDC leader Prof Ncube attended the meeting, adding that he would issue a statement at the "appropriate time".

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