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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • COPAC must apologize to Zimbabweans
    National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)
    January 15, 2013

    The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), having advised the parties in the GNU about the provisions of Article 6 of the GPA , which fell short in yielding a democratic constitution for the country hereby demand a national apology from COPAC to the people of Zimbabwe for failing the nation. From the start we contested that the process was not democratic, not inclusive and it has now proved beyond doubt that the COPAC route was not the way to go as it has dismally failed to provide a constitution for Zimbabweans.

    The COPAC process was defective because it was not led by an Independent Commission. It was dominated by the three political parties who constitute the inclusive government. In short the COPAC process was a "politician-driven process" and not "people-driven".

    We are also ashamed by the desperate attempts by the Principals to resuscitate and bring life to a corpse (COPAC). Instead of laying wreaths and admitting that the COPAC process is dead they are busy misleading the nation that something will come out of the failed money spinning project.

    Apart from the process being not democratic, we also therefore note with great concern the millions of dollars wasted in this failed project. As NCA we are also alarmed that up until this day that money has not been properly accounted for.

    The COPAC process also wasted the time of Zimbabweans as those driving the process failed to meet their set timelines, and failed to produce a final draft despite empty promises on such. We have always wanted a referendum to utilise that platform to reject the flawed process.

    Unfortunately COPAC cannot bring even a bad document to referendum.

    It is against this background that the NCA is calling for the inclusive government to issue a public apology to the people of Zimbabwe for wasting their precious time.

    As NCA, we now call for a set of reforms to ensure a free and fair poll thereafter we immediately start a fresh independent process to write a charter for the country.

    We remain firm, resolute in upholding the Peoples Charter which calls for:

    • A Comprehensive consultation constitution making process with the people of Zimbabwe wherein they are guaranteed freedom of expression and information, association and assembly.
    • The collection of the views of the people and their compilation into a draft constitution that shall be undertaken by an All-Stakeholders' Commission composed of representatives of government, parliament, political parties, civil society, labour, business and the church with a gender and minority balance.
    • A transparent process of the appointment of the All-Stakeholders' Commission members as well as their terms of reference.
    • The holding of a national referendum on any draft constitution.

    In conclusion, the NCA remains engaged in ensuring that Zimbabwe eventually gets a constitution it deserves. In this respect, the NCA is continuing with its civic education activities across the country which involves the production and distribution of materials on constitutional issues.

    Visit the NCA fact sheet

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