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Outreach teams face tougher times

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BULAWAYO —The Constitution Select Committee (Copac) has warned legislators and members of the constitutional outreach teams to brace for tougher times as there shall be no luxurious accommodation in the second phase of the programme.
Outreach teams are currently being booked in luxurious hotels in the first phase of the programme with hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent in accommodation costs.
However, in an interview, Copac select committee co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora said the outreach teams would no longer be afforded the luxury anymore and desist from becoming cry-babies. This was after legislators involved in the process cried foul. He said the country cannot produce a constitution if people were concerned with being “too comfortable.”
“There is no constitution that we can come up with if people are too relaxed. We have realised the outreach team members have now developed a tendency of being cry-babies. We cannot have that anymore,” Mwonzora said.
“Legislators should stop behaving like their homes are five star hotels. As Copac, we can no longer afford that style and the legislators should be prepared for a very different arrangement from now onwards.”
Mwonzora also highlighted that those legislators and members of the outreach teams who felt they cannot cope with the new arrangements were free to top up the accommodation allowances provided by Copac to meet hotel bills.
“If they feel they cannot sleep where we would have booked them, they are free to add onto the allowances they receive and then they can sleep at those hotels they so desire to sleep in,” he said.
Mwonzora said the new arrangement was out of realisation that hotels in the country had refused to agree on payment terms with the select committee.
The hotels, he said, had demanded cash up-front for accommodation.
Finance minister, Tendai Biti last Wednesday allocated $4 million towards the constitution-making process — money that Mwonzora said Copac welcomed as it would play a significant part in alleviating the crisis faced in the first phase.

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