The Herald (Harare)

19 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Copac Teams Deployed Across Country

THE various Copac teams that will lead the distribution of the draft constitution and raise awareness of its contents were deployed across Zimbabwe yesterday. The teams are also expected to conduct meetings in various districts explaining the contents of the draft beginning today.

"The teams left Harare for the provinces and districts early today (yesterday) and they carried 70 000 copies of the draft and about 100 000 copies of explanatory notes.

"The copies of the local languages will be ready for distribution by Wednesday (tomorrow)," Cde Paul Mangwana said yesterday.

He said Copac would soon be engaging civil society and the media to assist them in their publicity campaigns.

His counterpart Mr Douglas Mwonzora also confirmed the deployment of the teams.

"Today it was just the deployment of the teams to the various provinces for distribution of the draft.

We will be using the local government structures for the distribution and they will then hand them over to the various stakeholders in the province that include NGOs, churches, other Government departments and so on.

"We also want to have a special meeting with civil society in a day or two on the roll out plan," he said.

The publicity campaign will take place until March 16 when the country will go to the referendum to adopt or reject the proposed law.

Meanwhile, Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo yesterday urged parties to continue with the unity that led to succesful conclusion of the draft.

"Zanu-PF applauds and congratulates the principals for the mature and principled way with which they handled the delicate Constitution making process. It is hoped the same spirit of patriotism and oneness which has shamed our detractors will continue to prevail during consultations on the setting up of the date for the harmonised elections.

"The challenges facing all the political parties that have agreed to the draft constitution are first to speak with one voice. The message is for a "yes" vote. There should be no equivocation on this issue nothing should be taken for granted," Cde Gumbo said in a statement yesterday.

Cde Gumbo said it was the responsibility of all parties to campaign for a "yes vote".

"It is the responsibility of every political party to explain adequately the provisions of the draft constitution so that each and every one understands the contents of the draft constitution. Granted one month may not be ideal to cover all corners of the country, but with hard work, conviction and commitment the campaign exercise for the "Yes" vote can be achieved without any degree of difficulties.

"There is certainly no good reason why people should be engaged in violence. The draft constitution is home grown, people driven and crafted by Zimbabweans for Zimbabweans. It may not be perfect but it is enough to meet the exigencies of the current situation," he said.

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