12 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Team Makes Copac Headway

THE Cabinet committee established by principals in the inclusive Government to break the deadlock in the Constitution-making process yesterday resolved most contentious issues in the Copac Second All Stakeholders' report.

The committee reconvenes tomorrow to iron out the remaining few issues.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, who chairs the committee, confirmed the meeting, adding that significant progress has been made.

Although he refused to divulge specific issues that were discussed, Minister Matinenga was hopeful tomorrow's meeting would finalise the remaining sticky issues.

"Yes, we met but I am not going to enter into the details of the meeting. What I can tell you is that significant work has been done.

"We have asked some of our technocrats to factor in issues that we discussed today in the draft Constitution and then we will meet on Thursday (tomorrow) to review the whole report."

Minister Matinenga was optimistic tomorrow's meeting would bear positive results.

Copac co-chairperson Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said some progress had been made by the committee.

He said as co-chairs, they were tasked to factor in issues raised at yesterday's meeting in the draft Constitution.

"We do not negotiate in the media, but I can tell you that as co-chairpersons we are meeting tomorrow (today) to continue with some of the work assigned to us by the committee," said Cde Mangwana.

Mr Douglas Mwonzora - who is also a Copac co-chairperson - said yesterday's meeting covered almost all contested issues in the Copac Second All Stakeholders' report.

"We have made good progress. Although we have not yet finished, we ironed out almost three-quarters of the issues that came out of the Second All Stakeholders' conference," said Mr Mwonzora.

"Most of the issues are not new and were already dealt with. What only remains is the approach to be taken in view of the fact that most of these issues have been dealt with."

Mr Mwonzora said such issues included devolution, the National Prosecuting Authority and dual citizenship.

He said it was important to note that the Second All Stakeholders' Conference did not reject the draft Constitution.

In this regard, he said there was no need to change some of the issues that were negotiated and agreed on by parties in the inclusive Government.

The committee is expected to make its submissions to the principals who would have the final say on the draft before it is taken to Parliament.

The leaner committee also comprises Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Regional Integration and International Co-operation Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and MDC Copac co-chairperson Mr Edward Mkhosi.

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