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More Copac deadlocks looming

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Civil society organisations (CSOs) have predicted more deadlocks as the draft constitution goes to Parliament, adding that the fate of the country’s new governance charter will be determined by the Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac) and the Sadc facilitation team.
Khanyile Mlotshwa Staff Reporter

Addressing delegates attending a Bulawayo Agenda-organised civil society conference in Bulawayo on Saturday, Crisis Coalition of Zimbabwe senior programes officer Nixon Nyikadzino said after the numerous deadlocks in thematic committees at the stakeholders’ conference, the draft constitution was headed for more deadlocks in Parliament and subsequent stages.

“We are going to have deadlocks on the constitution as we go ahead which means we might not have the elections in March,” he said.

Institute for a Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe programmes director Joy Mabenge said even if the draft were to be presented to Parliament, there was nothing MPs would agree on.

“There is nothing new that is going to be debated by the MPs in Parliament,” he said.

“All MPs have seen this draft and have taken positions through their parliamentary caucuses.

“The only space left for negotiation is for the management committee, which is the negotiators and the co-chairpersons.

“If they cannot agree on anything, they can always turn to the (Sadc) facilitation team.

“The principals have no capacity to go clause by clause of the draft.”

Zimbabwe Election Support Network director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava said the draft constitution promised positive changes to the running of elections in the country, but there was little time to prepare for that election.

“We are left with 20 weeks before that election in March (2013),” she said.

“That is our biggest worry, that if we rush to have these elections we will have a repeat of 2008.”

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