Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora Wednesday said his committee had received an $8 million shot in the arm from government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which would enable the committee to meet the September deadlines to complete the constitutional outreach meetings.
Mwonzora said Treasury had released the supplementary budget to Copac to help them address all the financial challenges they had faced during the outreach programmes.
He said the issues of Copac drivers and technicians that had gone on strike had been settled.
“They will be paid their money this week because Treasury has released $8 million,” Mwonzora said.
“We have taken positive steps to address our financial challenges.”
He said the reaction by government, especially the Finance ministry, to help fund the constitution-making process had been very positive.
“As Copac, we are there to make sure we beat all the challenges we meet and I do not doubt our ability to do that. Most of the challenges have already been overcome,” he said.
Copac, he said, was in the process of negotiating an improvement in the conditions of service of outreach teams, including legislators.
“We will be treating the outreach teams the same, irrespective of whether they are MPs or not,” said Mwonzora.
“We want their conditions of service improved and we are working on that.
“The Management Committee has been working on our proposals for the improvement of the conditions under which the Copac teams work.
“We have noticed that some of our people are living in unfavourable conditions and we need to improve that,” he said.
Mwonzora said Copac had made a good projection when at the outset they asked for a budget of $36 million, which also included the cost of the referendum.
He said although they only received $18 million, the supplementary budget of $8 million would go a long way towards covering some of the costs of the referendum, as long as there were no other unnecessary delays.