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‘80% of the new constitution will be negotiated’

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A Bulawayo-based youth organisation has shared the prediction by MDC leader Welshman Ncube that 80% of the country’s new constitution will be negotiated, because of the numerous challenges faced by the Constitution Select Committee (Copac) during the outreach meetings.

Last week Ncube said the final blue print would be negotiated because the data collected was inadequate and some of the views which emerged would have to be rationalised, which could only be done through negotiations.

At a meeting held on Thursday — on an update of the constitution making process with Copac co-chairperson, Edward Mkhosi — youths said Ncube’s prediction was likely to prevail considering the way outreach meetings had been handled.

“During the Copac outreach meetings, there were a lot of issues which we feel were not dealt with adequately,” said one youth in the meeting.
“We feel that the outreach process was hurriedly done and some important issues were not captured properly.”

The coordinator for the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association, Rodrick Fayayo shared the same view.

“Pertinent issues such as the issue of national youth service, devolution of power and dual citizenship were not given much time for debate,” he said.

“Therefore, because of such issues, we are almost positive that the constitution will be negotiated between the country’s three main political parties.”

Mkhosi evaded the issue and said youths should concentrate more on the remaining processes and not on the final document.

“As much as Copac faced challenges here and there, it is difficult for me at this point to say whether or not the final product will be negotiated,” he said.
Copac had agreed on principal drafters of the constitution and a drafting framework had been developed to guide the drafters to include pre-drafting and the actual drafting.

The draft constitution is set to be submitted to parliament for review on 15 October and the referendum could be held in January next year.

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