Participants at the civil society organisations (CSOs) constitutional conference in Bulawayo on Thursday said they would like the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (Copac) to show them district and provincial reports produced from views they submitted during the outreach programme.
A female participant from Tsholotsho said this would help them ascertain whether their contributions were captured or not.
“We are asking for the district and provincial reports so that we can see if our views were captured. We want the reports of what we contributed so that we can compare with what we said and what is in the reports,” she said.
Another participant said life was difficult in the rural areas and they hoped the new constitution will restore hope.
“We live in the bush without food and information,” she said. “I hope this constitution would revive optimism about the country’s future.”
Contacted for comment, Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora said the reports would be released in due course.
“We will release the report in due course, once we have compiled the national report. We will release the report and people can check the sections they are interested in. But we cannot do it now because it will spoil the issues for drafting as people start commenting on this and that,” he said.
Veteran political activist Thoko Matshe said the region still had an opportunity to influence the outcome of the constitutional process by lobbying ministers and political parties.
“We are now at Plan B if we want to influence the constitutional process. After the drafters have produced their draft, there will remain sections that will not be clear and will need tweaking here and there.
Whether, we like it or not, it will be political parties that will do the negotiations around those areas; and it’s not all political parties, but those in the inclusive government,” said Matshe.
The conference on Thursday adopted a minimum content benchmarks document, which the CSOs said they would lobby for.