ATTEMPTS by the Copac leadership to expedite the constitution-making process and take the document to the Sadc Troika meeting in Luanda, Angola, failed yesterday.
The process was adjourned late yesterday with parties differing on how to incorporate recommendations from political parties leading the process.
The 25-member Copac team is reviewing the first draft in Harare.
The three Copac co-chairpersons yesterday said divergent views have slowed down the process.
Zanu-PF said the draft had to be reviewed in accordance with the people’s views while the two MDC formations said some of the Zanu-PF demands were “outrageous”.
Sources said the Copac leadership had allegedly tried to “cheat their way” through a fake consensus on the draft.
A member of the full Copac select committee yesterday said there were attempts to ditch an agreed position on the review of the draft.
“There was an agreement among the political parties that they would incorporate their views into the draft failure of which it would be referred to the principals through the management committee.
“This came from the feeling that the first draft was at variance with the people’s views as was noted during the outreach programme.”
The parties, the source said, agreed to do a chapter-by-chapter and clause-by-clause audit of the draft while checking if they included the people’s views.
“They had agreed to an audit while cross-checking to see whether the drafting instructions approved by the full committee were being followed in the current draft.”
This, according to the source, included going chapter-by-chapter, correct by auditing while also looking at the parties’ comments.
The committee had agreed to incorporate every issue where there was consensus while referring to the principals, through the management committee, areas of disagreement.
The process was adjourned when the committee had reached Chapter Six.
“Everything was going accordingly until co-chairpersons Cde (Munyaradzi Paul) Mangwana and his MDC-T counterpart consulted between each other and agreed that
the double process was too slow.
“They proposed to stop looking at the comments, go through the process and then look at the comments later.”
The source said this was an attempt to sabotage comments, especially from Zanu-PF, which had raised a lot of queries.
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“As you can see, the process stalled on Chapter 6 which deals with the Executive. The following key chapters also deal with the legislature and judiciary.
“There was an attempt to push through these key chapters while falsely claiming consensus from the full committee and send the draft to Luanda for the Troika.
“It was an attempt to claim that they had agreed and this was a product of the full committee, but retaining the draft that was at variance with the people’s views.”
The whole process was stopped, according to the source, when Zanu-PF members took a firm stance against ignoring the comments.
“Cde Mangwana concurred with members from his party after they raised the issue with party leaders,” the source said.
Cde Mangwana confirmed the divisions.
“We are reviewing the chapters clause-by-clause and you will discover that between Monday and Tuesday we had covered only four chapters yet we expected to have completed the process by today (yesterday).
“The draft has to be in accordance with the people’s views and common ground has to be found inasfar as input from political parties is concerned.
“Not all input will go in the draft, but we are finding it difficult to agree on most issues and we will only have a clear picture of where we are going by tomorrow (today),” he said.
He said the process was slow because they had to look at whether the drafters worked according to instructions from Copac.
Mr Edward Mkhosi (MDC) said: “We have differences on issues that came from the parties because some of them have come with their position papers declaring that they won’t move on those issues.
“The Constitution should be a product of consensus, it is give and take. We won’t allow one political party to determine the Constitution when people spoke of what they want.”
Co-chairperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) said some of the input from political parties was “not sensible”.
“We made a mistake by asking parties to comment on the draft. These institutions are stakeholders in the process, so, obviously they will be partisan.
“We are putting aside some of the information and this is a difficult thing to do for representatives of the political parties to agree.
“For the chapters we have reviewed so far, we are happy because drafters have acted according to instructions,” Mr Mwonzora said.