Copac reaches another deadlock
The constitution-making process reached another dead end yesterday after the Copac Management Committee failed to agree on what to do with the draft constitution and the report of the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference.
Zanu PF wanted the draft constitution and the report to be presented to the principals and open up new negotiations on disagreed issues, while the two MDCs wanted it to be sent to Parliament for deliberation. The management committee comprises Global Political Agreement (GPA) negotiators from the three political parties in the inclusive government. Zanu PF was represented by Justice and Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa and Copac co-chair Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana while co-chair Douglas Mwonzora and Energy minister Elton Mangoma represented Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party. Regional Integration minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, National Reconciliation co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu and Copac co-chair Edward Mkosi represented the MDC led by Welshman Ncube.
Mangwana confirmed the deadlock, saying: “We are saying there is no agreement in all areas and the draft should be sent to principals for negotiation on disagreed issues. Our colleagues (the MDCs) want the draft and report to go to Parliament with those grey issues.” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said Article 6 of the GPA did not recognise principals in the constitution-making process since they were already represented by the management committee. “Copac has produced a draft and should be taken to Parliament together with the report of the conference while we prepare for a referendum,” she said. “Zanu PF wants the principals to control the process and we said NO.” Mwonzora also said the constitution-making process was a parliamentary process and each party would have to consult its leadership to find a way forward. Officially opening Parliament last month, President Robert Mugabe said the principals were now in charge of the process which should lead to elections, although his fiercest rival, Tsvangirai, said he had no intention to take over the process which he said was driven by Parliament.