Copac scoffs at war vets ultimatum

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Copac yesterday scoffed at demands by war veterans that the parliamentary body tasked to craft a new constitution for Zimbabwe should produce the national report this week.

Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) yesterday said: Those were empty threats and we do not go by the deadlines given by war veterans.

We are not being supervised by another stakeholder and we will produce a national report for the benefit of everyone at the right time and will not follow any deadlines given by one stakeholder.

Mwonzora appealed to Zimbabweans to be patient and give Copac the chance to do a meticulous job.
He added: It is the right of everyone to be informed about what is going on, but it is not right for everyone to go around giving orders to MPs in Copac mandated with the task to craft a new constitution for Zimbabwe. It can actually result in contempt of Parliament.

Mwonzora said the war veterans who disrupted the Copac Press conference last week were not even supposed to attend as it was a meeting meant to brief the media.

Press conferences are for the media and not stakeholders like war veterans. If they want to give their views, they would do so at a briefing for stakeholders and they absolutely had no business at a Press conference, he said.

He said last weeks disturbances where war veterans threatened Copac officials would force the constitution-making body to end up vetting people attending Press conferences to ensure they were bona fide journalists.

If the Press conference was targeting civic society, the war veterans can come, but we also demand that we have two representatives per group, he said.

Mwonzora said the national report was being compiled and would soon be made public.

Drafting of the new constitution is ongoing and we have asked the drafters to ignore written letters from war veterans, otherwise we will have, for example, Zinasu, MDC99 or other people giving instructions and threatening the drafters, he said.