HomeLocal NewsCopac blows millions on sitting staff

Copac blows millions on sitting staff

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Rapporteurs, who this week received hefty allowances for the uploading of Copac data, have been wining and dining in Harare since Monday, without doing any work, NewsDay has established.

The rapporteurs, numbering 720 and drawn from all over the country, each received $700 as an allowance and transport allowances of up to $100.

They have been staying in luxurious hotels, where they are also having expensive meals already paid for by Copac.

But it emerged that Copac was in shambles and that the much-awaited uploading of data which was supposed to start on Monday, had not started.

Rapporteurs said on Friday the Copac management team had told them that they were having problems linking up their program to the hotel server.

In the midst of this hullabaloo, it also emerged that some outreach teams from provinces such as Manicaland and Masvingo had not even finished writing their reports, while the MDC row has also spilled into Copac and is threatening to derail the process.

The party, now led by Welshman Ncube, wants rapporteurs, such as Morgan Changamire the party’s former deputy organising secretary, who walked out of the national congress, to be dropped from the process arguing that they were no longer representing their interests.

But Zanu PF and MDC-T have rejected the demand while Changamire and his group also insist they are the real MDC.

Ncube’s party has threatened to pull out of the constitution making exercise if the “rebels” were allowed to stay.

“We are sitting pretty,” said a rapporteur on Friday. “In the morning we have heavy breakfast, and between 10am and 10.30am we have tea, between 1pm and 2pm we have lunch and from 3pm to 3.30pm we have more tea then we cap the day with another heavy dinner before we go for drinks.

“That’s how we are spending our days. The only thing that has happened so far is the induction. Yes we were inducted and the programme was officially launched, but nothing else has happened. We are just sitting and next week, we are expecting another $800 allowance each!”

MDC deputy spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi confirmed that his party had threatened to pull out of Copac after they were denied permission to remove some of the rapporteurs.

“The people we are withdrawing are no longer members of our party and are therefore not representing our interests. They are rebels and are not accountable to anyone.

“Both Zanu PF and MDC-T have replaced some people and we are saying we are an equal partner and should therefore be allowed to also do the same,” he said.
One of the people the party wants to replace, Maxwell Zimuto, an assistant to Copac co-chairperson Edward Mkhosi, was the director of information before the party split.

Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzi Mangwana initially said the programme was going on well but later confirmed the project had been hit by technical challenges.

“Our technicians are at work and are in the process of linking the computers to the server. They are setting up the system, so some work is being done,” he said.

Manicaland and Masvingo hadn’t put data in electronic form and they are working on that and as far as I am concerned the MDC has not pulled out.

Yes, they made a request to withdraw some members but we rejected the request. We cannot be seen to be meddling in political party disputes and we cannot allow disputes in one party to derail the programme.”

He agreed that Zanu PF and MDC-T had replaced some of their rapporteurs, but said the parties replaced “dead people and those who are outside the country.”

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