Zimbabwean experts to draft constitution

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Drafting of the new Constitution will be done by Zimbabwean experts and the process is expected to start during the first week of June, Copac co-chairpersons Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF) and Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) have said.

The two said Copac had decided that the drafting of the Constitution should be done by Zimbabwean professionals.

Mwonzora said three drafters have already been chosen.

But Mangwana said they were still consulting to decide on who these professionals should be.

“There are three drafters whom we have chosen on the basis of their proven expertise and not political affiliation,” said Mwonzora.

“They are Zimbabweans with vast experience in the field of constitutionalism and law (but) unfortunately I am not at liberty to release the names of those people as we have not yet signed contracts with these legal experts.”

Both Mangwana and Mwonzora said the drafters should be professionals with drafting expertise as not every lawyer was a drafter. Mwonzora said in choosing the drafters Copac had also considered the issue of race.

“We have also ignored the issue of colour, which means we will have Zimbabweans of all colours in the drafting committee,” said Mwonzora.

Recently, the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Eric Matinenga warned arguments on whether international drafters should also be factored in should not derail the process as the most important issue was to get qualified experts to do the job.

Mwonzora said Copac experts were expected to take a month drafting the new Constitution.

He said suggestions that it should be done simultaneously with the Thematic Committee stage had been quashed as all constitutional material was needed before drafting could begin.

“We have put aside a whole month for drafting because we expect that during that stage a lot of contentious issues upon which protracted discussions may take place will arise,” said Mwonzora.