War vets invade Copac


War veterans yesterday besieged offices of the Constitution Select Committee (Copac) in the city and disrupted a joint briefing for the media and civil society.

The more than 10 visibly angry former fighters accused the Copac co-chairpersons, including Zanu PFs Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, of ignoring peoples views in the draft of the new charter.

Jabulani Sibanda, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association leader, is leading calls for the constitution-making process to be abandoned, saying it has failed.

Yesterday, the war veterans also protested against delays in the publication of a national report of the outreach phase of the constitution-making process.

You were chosen by the people and people put their views, said a member of the militant group.

Those are the views you are supposed to use. Do not put your own views because that is not what the people want.

You should also not forget that for you to be in that position, it is because of those that fought for this country so you should write what the people want.
Mangwana tried to stand up to the war veterans, telling them to calm down.

Do not come here and intimidate us, be here and air your views properly and not to be angry, Mangwana fumed.

You should respect us like Honourable MPs and people chose us to lead this constitution-making process.

MDC-T Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora said the drafting process was proceeding and drafters would only use the agreed concepts given to them.

Copac is pleased to announce that the drafting process is ongoing, he said.

The three principal drafters Justice Moses Chinhengo, lawyers Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crozier commenced work on December 5 2011 and have already submitted four chapters to the select committee for review.

The drafters, in the new instructions, will only use the agreed concepts given to them by the select committee.

It has also been made clear in the instructions that the drafters shall not interpret what the people of Zimbabwe said, Mwonzora added.
Zanu PF is now pushing for elections this year with or without a new constitution.