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New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
COPAC Clarifies Status of First Draft - Constitution Watch
February 10, 2012
Press Briefing 9th February
At a press briefing
just before lunchtime Thursday 9th February, the COPAC released
a press statement signed by all three party co-chairpersons giving
the following information:
The draft is
not final - it is still under review
- The Select
Committee is still, with assistance from technical experts, reviewing
“the first draft proposal of the new constitution”.
- A lot of
work has been so far been done, but the draft proposal is “work
in progress until it is approved by COPAC”.
- The Select
Committee states categorically that “No suggested positions
in the first proposal can be taken as final.”
urged be patient - The statement urges Zimbabweans to exercise
patience and “give the Select Committee and the team of experts
the opportunity to finalise the draft” and warns that “people
should not to be distracted by hearsay”.
on Presidential age limit and terms of office - The co-chairs
stressed that the Select Committee has “not yet deliberated
on, among other issues, the age limit or the terms of office of
the President”; and that neither COPAC nor its co-chairs had
given information to the press on the substance of Presidential
qualifications or disqualifications.
have been articles in the independent newspapers suggesting that
in the outreach process a majority of Zimbabweans stated that people
who have already served two terms, or are over 70, should not be
allowed to contest Presidential elections and predicting that the
new constitution may provide accordingly.]
to avail draft in vernacular and Braille and English The statement
repeats the COPAC commitment that once the final draft is in place
it will be translated into all vernacular languages as well as Braille
and “availed to all Zimbabweans to comment at the Second All-Stakeholders
Conference before the referendum”.
At the press
conference there were several questions raised about funding and
the COPAC co-chairs had the following to say in response:
- The drafting
process has been extended by 15 days. The process is being financed
by donors who have already made the funds for the additional days
available. According to the co-chairs the drafting process should
be complete by the end of February.
- The Second
All Stakeholders’ Conference is expected to cost approximately
$14 million. The Government is funding the conference which is
envisioned to take place at the end of March. The Finance Minister
is looking into the matter of financing the conference and it
is expected that the funds will be made available.
- The donors
will be financing publicity up to the Referendum and the estimated
cost is $2.9 million which has already been made available.
Draft Constitution” Published by The Herald
In the 10 February
2012 issue of The Herald there is an eight-page pullout claiming
to be the full text of the Constitution
2012 - 1st Draft. COPAC have not confirmed that this leaked
draft is in fact the draft they received from the three lead drafters.
Even if it was the correct version, it could only be the first draft
which COPAC is in the process of reviewing. It is still a work in
progress and as the lead drafters have been booked for 15 more days,
obviously changes are anticipated.
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