Copac rapporteurs protest over reduced allowances

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A good number of rapporteurs who were part of the group that was trained for the constitutional outreach programme last week are said to have abandoned the project in protest over allowances.

Impeccable sources told NewsDay this week that some had walked away from the training centre in Belvedere, Harare, during training while others had thrown in the towel after training.“

They are demanding the money that was promised during the planning stages. They were promised as much as $70 per day but this has been progressively cut down to $50 then to $30 and now it is $20 or even $15 per day our source said.

“If you check on the identities of the participants you will find that many of them are prominent and well-to-do individuals.

“They had been attracted by the lucrative $70 per day allowances. Now that it has been minced down to $20 they are walking away”. Sources in the Constitutional Parliamentary select committee said the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP), which had pledged to source $21 million for the process, now wanted government to foot at least 30% of the budget, something Treasury says it cannot afford.

A source within the select committee said the committee was in such financial dire straits that it was unable to pay its secretariat while another source claimed the UNDP had declined a request for the secretariat salaries.

Some rapporteurs who were trained last week revealed that they were paid allowances of $15 per day during their training.

One of our sources said the fact that this time the training of rapporteurs had to take place at Zesa Training Centre, where participants had to sit on old creaky benches without desks to write on, proved that Copac was in serious money problems and were fighting to make ends meet.

“Remember, at the beginning everything was being done at hotels like Rainbow Towers but they can’t do that anymore,” our source said.

Sources have revealed that Copac was still to pay outstanding hotel bills totalling about $500 000 incurred at its first All-Stakeholder conference.