The Herald (Harare)

25 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Copac Set to Embark On Publicity Campaigns

PUBLICITY campaigns to inform the public on the provisions of the recently concluded draft constitution are expected to start early next week.

This is expected to ensure Zimbabweans appreciate the provisions of the country's proposed supreme law.

The Cabinet committee set up to deal with sticky issues that once stalled the progress of crafting the new law is also meeting today to formalise the adoption of the new amended draft.

In an interview yesterday, Copac co-chairperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora said the new constitution was a people's document.

"It is important to keep in mind that this is a constitution for the people of Zimbabwe. For that reason there will be massive civic education on the draft and it is also going to be translated into vernacular languages so that the people of Zimbabwe understand what is contained in the draft," Mr Mwonzora said.

"The campaigns will start as soon as the final draft has been produced and the committee is meeting tomorrow (today) to formalise the finalisation of the draft."

He said the document would be taken to Parliament once it resumes sitting.

"After this process (publicity) the constitution will be taken to Parliament and then to the referendum," he said.

Copac co-chairperson Cde Paul Mangwana said the draft should be in the public domain next week.

"We will be meeting tomorrow for the final inspection of the draft and then the document will be made public which will be sometime next week," he said.

Cde Mangwana said following the publication of the draft, the document and the national report would then be brought to Parliament.

"The next step will be presenting the national report and the draft to Parliament and also the principals and then the proclamation of the dates of the referendum," Cde Mangwana said.

The agreement by the principals last week brought to an end a six-month deadlock between partners in the inclusive Government over some provisions in the draft constitution.

On Wednesday, the Zanu PF Politburo endorsed the agreement reached by the principals and pledged to campaign for its adoption at the referendum.

Meanwhile, the president of Zimbabwe Indigenous Economic Empowerment Organisation (IEEO), Mr Paddington Japajapa has lauded the achievements made so far by the four principals of the Global Political Agreement.

Mr Japajapa said that the political party leaders have showed maturity in nation-building issues especially by reaching a consensus on the Copac draft constitution.

"I want to salute the four great Zimbabwean political party leaders for reaching common ground which will allow the draft constitution to sail through to a referendum.

"The works of the four great political leaders will bring democracy, peaceful elections and political stability in our country. All the political squabbling and complaining which Zimbabweans were now used to will now be a thing of the past," he said.

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