|Devolution of power rejected|
|Tuesday, 15 May 2012 00:00|
Felex Share Herald Reporter
The generality of Zimbabweans rejected devolution of power during the outreach programme, saying it was divisive and inappropriate for a unitary State such as Zimbabwe.
Copac co-chairperson Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu-PF) yesterday said the provincial structures and functions will be spelt out in an Act of Parliament.
“We have struck common ground on most of the issues that include the issue of having two Vice Presidents and the issue of dual citizenship.
specified in an Act of Parliament and it means that there will be no devolution of power as some other people were advocating.”
He said drafters will meet, starting tomorrow, to incorporate agreed matters.
“We agreed to approach the drafters so that they can factor in some changes made, but there were agreements on the contentious issue of devolution.
“There was consternation yesterday among members of the full parliamentary select committee charged with drafting a new Constitution under the GPA following a controversial decision by the co-chairs to reconstitute their ‘co-chairs forum’ to receive and deliberate on the outcome of the reviews of the latest Copac draft Constitution which the three GPA parties, have been doing since May 1.
“The controversial decision was made on the recommendation of Mwonzora and Mangwana who felt that it was better for their co-chairs forum to meet this Thursday and Friday at some secluded place to sift through the comments of the three political parties and to report back a summary of the views to the full select committee on Monday May 21,” a close source said.
Another concerned member of the full select committee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said most Copac members decided to rubber stamp the decision without much opposition because “Mwonzora made his recommendation as a choreographed move intended to sideline the full committee and everyone in the meeting could see that the decision to reconstitute the co-chairs forum was a foregone conclusion by the co-chairs themselves who apparently want to buy more time by retreating alone with their usual technical teams and advisors”.
The member said: “My worry is that the co-chairs’ forum has been used to buy time many times before over the last 36 months and especially since January and each time that happens progress is lost and we keep going round and round in circles going nowhere while we keep promising the nation that long overdue elections will be held under our new Copac Constitution yet that Constitution is still subject to negotiations that by all indications are destined for a massive GPA deadlock.”
Another member added, “people are losing patience in our process and this business of going back to the co-chairs’ forum for more negotiations will make the now impatient public lose confidence in any final draft that we may end up producing if we manage to agree on something which I now seriously doubt we will be able to do.”
Co-chair Mr Edward Mkhosi (MDC) said there was “nothing to write home” about in yesterday’s meeting.
Copac was expected to bring finality to the Constitution-making process yesterday.