The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: MDC Spurns Invite to Copac 2nd All Stakeholders Conference

The MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube says it will not be part of the Cabinet ministerial committee to iron out contested areas in the Copac second all-stakeholders conference report. MDC spokesperson Mr Kurauone Chihwayi said there was no need to set up another committee when there was Copac, which is mandated to craft the new constitution.

He said his party had asked Regional Integration and International Co-operation Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi to communicate the party's position.

"We are not part of that committee that was formed by President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai," said Mr Chihwayi.

"We have seconded our minister not to go and endorse the formation of that committee, but to communicate our position that we should not renegotiate the draft constitution."

Mr Chihwayi said the draft should be taken to Parliament and referendum in its current form. He said Prof Ncube was only called to attend a meeting between President Mugabe and PM Tsvangirai that had already made its resolutions. Last week, principals to the Global Political Agreement 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. Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga last week said Zanu-PF had seconded Cde Patrick Chinamasa to be part of the committee, while MDC-T nominated its secretary general Mr Tendai Biti.

Copac co-chairs will also sit in the committee which will be chaired by Minister Matinenga.

The second all-stakeholders conference report is divided into three notable parts.

The first part 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, while the last part relates to provisions where there where disagreements in the draft constitution.

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