Constitution deadlock

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MASVINGO — Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora has accused Zanu PF of threatening drafters of the report in an effort to smuggle their preferred standpoints.

The drafters are High Court judge Justice Moses Chinhengo and constitutional lawyers, Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crozier.

Addressing journalists Friday evening at Masvingo Press Club, Mwonzora said Zanu PF had written a letter, threatening drafters who have, however, remained defiant, saying they do not take orders from one political party.

“The drafting process was going on well until Zanu PF co-chair Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana wrote a blistering letter to the drafters threatening them as the party wants its position to be dominant,” Mwonzora said.

“This really is an attempt to change the people’s submissions through the outreach process and this is totally not acceptable. However, the drafters refused to bow down to Zanu PF pressure as they said they did not take orders from one political party.”

He said such glitches on the part of interested political parties may delay the draft constitution, which is expected early next year.

“This is another hurdle that Copac is now facing which is different from the previous problems which used to be financial.

We now have enough resources, but little political will from other political parties to see the speedy completion of the drafting process. This will lead to the delay in the finalisation of the draft constitution,” said Mwonzora.

But, Mangwana dismissed the allegations, saying the letter was merely written to remind the constitution drafters of their mandate.

“They were not threatened. We just reminded them of the need to use the national report as they were not using the national report.

They did not have sufficient information so we drew to their attention that they should not continue drafting without the national report,” he said.