No more discussion on Copac allowances—Welshman Ncube

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GWANDA—Welshman Ncube, a member of the management committee of the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (Copac) this week said lawmakers agitating for an increment in allowances for the outreach programme should just forget it.
Ncube said the management committee would no longer entertain any discussion on the matter as a binding decision had been made. The management committee, he said, was prepared to part ways with legislators who felt the money offered was too little. He said the three political parties in the inclusive government would not hesitate to second replacements of those that withdrew from the process.
Legislators want $75 instead of the US$25 per day in allowances for the days they are expected to participate in the outreach programme for their accommodation and food.
His remarks come in the wake of reports that Zanu PF Members of Parliament were threatening to derail the constitution making process if their demands were not met.
Ncube said there was a ploy by some members of the select committee to throw spanners into the works by influencing participants to revolt.
This, he said, would enable some select committee members to continue claiming allowances for attending what he termed “crisis meetings” to “find solutions to the crisis.”
“We have cowards within this (constitution) process. These people shall always create confusion for them to continue claiming they are attending to crises.
“It is worrying to note there are some people who keep giving out information that is at variance with what has been agreed so that there continues to be some kind of confusion,” Ncube said.
He added: “In as far as the allowances for the outreach programme are concerned; we have heard media fiction to the point that legislators would be paid US$75 per day.
“This is in great contradiction with what was agreed to at management levels and we want to ensure that legislators are told what is going to happen and not fiction. The fact of the matter is that the management committee agreed legislators will get US$25 as allowances and that will not change at this moment in time.”
Ncube said there was no way they would allow “a handful of people” to arm-twist the management committee.
“The management committee is at the apex of this process. It is just like any board in a company. If anyone feels unhappy with any management committee decision, they are free to tell their parties they want to withdraw.
“If they do so, we will not hesitate to get replacements from the same political parties as the process has to go ahead. We will not be arm twisted,” Ncube declared.
The management committee, Ncube said, was determined to drive the process to its logical conclusion.
He said there was need for his committee and Copac to work together to realize the re-writing of the new constitution.
“COPAC is a subordinate of the management committee in terms of the organogram agreed to by the three parties. We are in charge of the process. We have been tasked to ensure that with Copac, we all work towards the production of a new constitution.
“We need to work together and stop this habit of seeking to appear supreme over each other as this will not take us anywhere,” he said.
The remarks come on the eve of the commencement of the constitutional outreach process.
Teams to gather views of Zimbabweans on the country’s supreme law are set to be deployed tomorrow ahead of the start of the process next week.
There has been a tiff between the management committee and Copac over the manner in which the process should be administered.
Copac suspects the management committee is out to take over the outreach of the process.