Copac which last week spent millions of dollars in hotel bills and allowances for rapporteurs booked in hotels in the capital for almost a week doing nothing, has once again run out of money and is appealing for $12 million from donors to complete the constitution-making process.
Copac acting national coordinator Gift Marunda told NewsDay Copac was not only appealing for that amount from the South African government, but was extending its begging bowl to other countries and development partners.
Although media reports had indicated that Copac had met South African President Jacob Zuma’s team last Wednesday to ask for help to raise about $20 million, Marunda said they needed $12 million.
“The appeals for funding were not specific to South Africa only,” said Marunda.
“We are appealing for funding from different strategic partners.”
Marunda dismissed reports that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had withdrawn its funding for the constitution-making process.
Last week Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo was on state television saying UNDP had withdrawn funding the process because they were not happy with the views that Zanu PF supporters had advanced on the talking points pertaining to the land issue.
Marunda said that was not true and that UNDP was still trying to mobilise resources for Copac.
“The UNDP has not withdrawn from funding the constitution-making process,” said Marunda.
“The UNDP had their own threshold that they had mobilised from other donors and that amount has since been exhausted, but they are still trying to get more funding for the rest of the stages of the constitution- making process.”
Commenting on the same issue, the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Eric Matinenga, said appealing for funding had always been an ongoing process during the constitution-making process.
“Seeking funding is a continuous process. What happens is that one engages on a daily basis as and when that funding is needed for the next stage,” Matinenga said.
He said despite the hitches arising from the Welshman Ncube-led MDC when they withdrew rapporteurs affiliated to a renegade faction headed by Joubert Mudzumwe, Copac was confident that the data uploading process would be completed by January 25.
Matinenga said there was no way the MDC squabbles were going to affect the constitution-making process, including the credibility of the draft constitution as they had already been resolved.
The minister said he was confident that by mid-year Copac would have produced a draft constitution for the country, which would then go for a referendum.