Zanu PF has been exposed after it emerged this week that the new constitution drafters had not “drifted away” from their instruction to draw heavily from the national report, NewsDay can reveal.
Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzai Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF) recently attacked the constitution drafters for reportedly disregarding public views in the national report.
Mangwana also said Copac had evidence the drafters were “careless with their job” and filled in a lot of gaps without consulting the select committee which was in direct contrast to what the draft manual stipulated.
“The drafters included their own personal views and they went on to fill the gaps without consulting the select committee rendering the whole process useless,” he said.
But, Copac co-chairperson Edward Mkhosi (MDC) accused Mangwana of “politicking”, insisting the drafters had followed their given instructions “to the letter”.
“That is self-contradictory and I do not know what Mangwana wanted the drafters to do. We do not have any quarrels with the drafters because that manual also empowers them to fill in gaps (section 7 of the manual),” Mkhosi said.
“They did a wonderful job which, however, it is unfortunate that the job done is contrary to Mangwana’s political beliefs, the whole process defeats his political affiliations, but a constitution is not meant to suit one person.”
According to the drafters’ instruction manual co-signed by the three Copac co-chairpersons Mangwana, Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) and Mkhosi, the drafters were instructed not to interpret contents of the national report.
The three drafters — Botswana High Court judge Justice Moses Chinhengo and constitutional experts Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crozier — also co-signed the manual dated January 9, 2012.
Point 6 of the instruction manual reads: “It shall not be the responsibility of the drafters to determine what goes into the constitution and what remains of the material in the national report or any other document containing national data.”
But Mangwana said: “I am aware of that instruction manual but what we are saying is that the drafters should not interpret data, we do that for them.
“They should not put their views but rather take what the people said, they have to act on instructions from us, closely scrutinise the first point of that manual. It is a directive that they should get instructions from us.”