Copac requires US$2m to host conference
Saturday, 28 July 2012 00:00
Copac requires at least US$2 million to host the second all-stakeholders’ conference where 2 000 delegates are expected to
attend next month.
The Government and donors are expected to meet next week to discuss the mobilisation of funds for the conference.
Copac co-chairperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora said in an interview after the presentation of the draft constitution to parliamentarians on Thursday that the conference should be held as soon as possible.
“We wanted to announce the date of the second all-stakeholders this week, but we will wait for the third of August when we have the project board meeting involving Copac leadership, Government and donors,” he said.
“Hopefully we will have agreed on the date by the third of August. We are looking at around US$2 million for the budget, but we want to have the second all stakeholders’ conference as soon as possible.”
Copac officials have in the past been accused of delaying the process to continue benefiting from allowances that they received.
Copac will convene the second all stakeholders’ conference to give the public an opportunity to interrogate the draft constitution it released last week. The first all stakeholders’ conference was held in 2009 and was marred by fierce clashes among supporters of political parties.
Copac co-chairperson Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said yesterday that each of the three parties in the inclusive Government would second 600 delegates to the conference.
“Each party has been allocated 600 delegates. We are expecting the delegates to be around 2 000 including members from the civic society and other groups,” said Cde Mangwana.
He said delegates would be drawn from 31 sectors that include women’s groups, farmers, youths, business and children’s representatives.
Cde Mangwana said the delegates would represent all sectors to ensure that all people have their input.
He said Copac would be meeting next week to finalise the dates of the second all-stakeholders conference.
“Each party will identify members of other groups such as civic society. There is no uniform criteria, but the selection will depend on what each given party would want,” said Cde Mangwana.
“We are meeting on Monday next week to finalise the dates for the conference.” Legal experts and political commentators expressed mixed views over the final draft. Some believe the draft deviated from what the people said, while others felt it was a milestone that would advance Zimbabwe’s democratic systems.
Political commentators criticised the final draft, saying members of the management committee compromised on sticking issues, thereby effectively dismissing the people’s views in favour of their preferences.
They accused the Copac management of producing a draft constitution that deviated from what people said on many fundamental issues.
Executive powers of the President, dual citizenship, the security services sector and land tenure raised a lot of debate. Some legal experts felt that the draft was not fundamentally different from the current Constitution.
Copac is in the process of translating the document into all vernacular languages.
Zanu-PF chief whip in the House of Assembly Cde Joram Gumbo said the draft constitution was a parliamentary product and MPs had to discuss it.