29 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Parties Nominate Constitution Officials

Parties in the inclusive Government have identified three ministers who will sit in the committee tasked to break the deadlock stalling the constitution-making process.

The committee is expected to expeditiously resolve areas of contestation in the Second All-Stakeholders' substantive report.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga yesterday confirmed what Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba said after the principals meeting on Monday.

Minister Matinenga told journalists in Harare yesterday that the ministers comprised the Global Political Agreement negotiators and constitution management committee members.

"The following have been identified by their respective parties to form the leaner committee in accordance with the recommendations I made. Honourable Tendai Biti (MDC-T), Honourable Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu-PF) and Honourable Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga (MDC)," he said.

Minister Misihairabwi, Minister Matinenga said, was yet to be formally informed of her new task.

The committee would also be composed of three Copac co-chairpersons Cde Paul Mangwana (Zanu-PF), Mr Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) and Mr Edward Mkhosi (MDC).

Minister Matinenga would also sit in that committee as the convener and chairperson.

Minister Matinenga said the rationale behind having the three ministers was because they had been involved in the constitution-making process since it started.

He said if the committee failed to break the deadlock, it would come up with recommendations on the way forward.

Minister Matinenga said the committee was expected to convene its preparatory meeting today.

The committee, he said, was expected to take about seven days to go through the report that 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.

The committee is expected to take the report back to the leaders in Government and leaders of political parties.

Minister Matinenga said party representatives in the committee were expected to consult their party leadership on areas that needed guidance.

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

"The final document coming out of the process must be endorsed by the Select Committee and thereafter taken to Parliament. Parliament has the final say in this process," said Minister Matinenga.

After drafting of the Copac draft, political parties in Government were given an opportunity to look at the draft to audit it.

The MDC formations endorsed the draft in its entirety but Zanu-PF proposed some amendments.

The revolutionary party argued the draft had deviated from the people's views gathered during the outreach programme.

MDC formations argued the amendments could not be effected before the Second All Stakeholders Conference.

However, after the conference MDC formations changed the goal posts again claiming the proposed amendments could not be considered if there was no consensus from the delegates at the stakeholders' conference.

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