HomeLocal NewsConstitution talks gather pace

Constitution talks gather pace

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Members of an inter-party body charged with the constitution-making process are this week expected to meet in Harare in a bid to iron out outstanding issues following their meeting in Nyanga last week.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga told NewsDay yesterday the Copac team was expected to go through the draft document to weed out contentious issues and find common ground on sticky ones.

“What is happening is that we are starting from page one. This does not mean we will park previously unparked issues,” he said.

“At the end of the day we must comb through every word in the document and if there are issues that have yet to be resolved, we will look at them.

“I do not want to jeopardise the constitution- making process by going into detail.”

Sources said Zanu PF had attempted to negotiate for adoption of its party position contained in a 29-page document presented to the Copac select committee.
“It is not for the parties to decide on that document,” Matinenga said.

“What is happening is that Zanu PF has got its documents before it and they bring their issues, we will then go through the issues they would have raised.”

Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo has been leading hardliners from his party in denigrating the Copac-led constitution-making process, describing the draft document as not people-driven.

In an article published in a local weekly yesterday, Moyo said it was not politically responsible to hold a referendum on the current draft constitution, which he claims was not people-driven.

“There are two important separate but related points about this,” he said.

“The first is that while it might indeed still be physically or practically possible to hold a referendum on a Copac draft constitution within the next 11 months, it is no longer politically desirable or responsible to do so because the country is now in the period during which the constitutional process for the next election must be in full swing.”

But Matinenga brushed aside Moyo’s claims and said he should not be taken seriously since he was seeking political relevance.

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