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New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
Constitution-making process: way forward
November 01, 2012
At the official
opening of the Second All Stakeholders Conference, Copac clearly
spelt out the terms reference of the conference. First, the conference
was to receive a report on the constitution
making process from. Second, Copac was supposed to table the
constitution, as required by article 6 of the Global
Political Agreement, to the conference. Third, equipped with
all proper documentation, the delegates were supposed to make their
commends and recommendations to the draft constitution from Copac.
It is clear
that the key deliverable of the conference were the recommendations
of the stakeholders on the draft constitution. It turned out that
most of these recommendations took the form of proposals for amendments
to the draft constitution. Some of these recommendations were clearly
unanimously agreed to by the delegates in the relevant groups while
other recommendations for amendment were not agreed upon by the
In respect of
those recommendations where there was consensus among the delegates,
the way forward is for Copac to effect the proposed changes to the
draft constitution without any undue delay unless the proposals
do not change the substance of the draft constitution.
recommendations that were not agreed to Copac can not effect these
proposed changes. This is simply because, unlike the first category,
these recommendations were not adopted. In respect of these, because
there is no agreement to amend, the default position, that is to
say the status quo in the draft remains. That is to say there is
no basis for Copac to vary the position that is there.
Sight must never
be lost that the Copac draft is a product of the outreach process
and the inter-party negotiations. Therefore lack of unanimity to
change the draft represents a vote of confidence in the draft constitution.
Therefore while changes have to be effected in respect of those
recommendations where there is unanimity, those recommendations
in respect of which there is no unanimity must fail by virtue of
their failure to amass the necessary support from the stakeholders.
A worrying discovery
by Copac is that in a bid to buttress their recommendations, some
delegates resorted to falsely claiming that their demands were based
on the national statistical reports. Some of these even went as
far as to purport to quote portions of the national
statistical report that do not exist.
approach is that where a delegate sought to rely on a falsehood,
then their submission or recommendations so based on falsehood can
not stand. Such information can not be carried forward as if it
were true. It would be tragic for some political parties to seek
to create deadlocks over information that was false. It is the worst
form of treachery and betrayal of the Zimbabwean people. The fraudsters
and cheats who lied that their submissions were based on the national
statistical report can not rely on their falsehoods to create political
respect of areas in which they failed to secure the unanimity of
the stakeholders, political parties can not rely on that failure
to create political deadlocks at this stage. They had ample opportunity
to ganner support for their proposals but failed presumably because
the people did not identify with their recommendations.
In terms of
article 6, Copac is now obliged to prepare the national report for
presentation to Parliament
together with the draft constitution. After the submission to parliament,
the executive through the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary
Affairs would take over the process and among other issues prepare
for the referendum in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
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