Herbert Zharare and Farirai Machivenyika
ZANU-PF’S Politburo has, in its audit of Copac’s final draft Constitution against the national report, raised questions on why the people’s views were not properly captured.
Sources who attended Wednesday’s meeting said the leadership wanted its members in the Copac management committee to explain the discrepancies.
Politburo members said the management committee should have ensured the draft did not deviate from what was captured during the outreach programme.
The party, which said it was close to finding common ground on sticky issues in the draft Constitution, would finalise its position at another meeting slated for next Wednesday.
Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo yesterday said: “There are areas they (Copac) did not deal with candidly. We want the Constitution to reflect some of those values.
“That is why the party is saying let us look at the document chapter-by-chapter, sentence-by-sentence and word-by-word.
“Some of the things we are seeing are not in the national report and we are saying why changing?”
He dismissed reports that Zanu-PF was divided over the draft Constitution.
“There is no controversy at all. It’s a question of debate. Everyone is in agreement in the Politburo except for some few issues we want addressed.”
Cde Gumbo told journalists after the Politburo meeting that ended after midnight on Wednesday that Zanu-PF was finding common ground.
“We want to find common ground and generally I think we are moving in the right direction,” he said.
“What we are doing now is to put together the party’s position.”
The Politburo, which initially met last Friday to dissect the draft, did not reach a consensus on Wednesday as there were “a few issues to be concluded”.
“I think it is just a question of tying some loose ends, but generally things are moving in the right direction and by that time (Wednesday) we will have a clear position,” Cde Gumbo said.
The two MDC formations have since endorsed the document.
Zanu-PF representative in the Copac management committee, Cde Patrick Chinamasa, was not keen to discuss issues of concern raised by the Politburo.
“Yes, we are going to finalise everything on Wednesday. We have already made our position clear,” he said.
The Politburo last week tasked its representatives in the Copac management committee to collate the proposed amendments into a comprehensive document.
Some contested areas include national objectives and foundations, the significance of the liberation struggle, the appointment of provincial governors and the establishment of the constitutional court.
Other areas of dispute include the deployment of defence forces outside the country and the proposed restructuring of the Attorney-General’s Office.
There was also debate on the section dealing with the nomination of presidential candidates and their running mates.
The Politburo endorsed portions of the draft Constitution last Friday, but proposed amendments to several contentious clauses.
Lawyers and political analysts said the draft did not capture views expressed during the outreach.
Copac produced the draft two weeks ago after missing the deadline by over two years.
Meanwhile, Copac has postponed its Project Board meeting that was supposed to be held this week to discuss the modalities around the hosting of the second all stakeholders’ conference on the draft constitution.
The Project Board involves Copac leadership, Government and donors and was supposed to come up with dates, funding and selection of participants to the conference.
At least US$2 million is required to cater for the nearly 2 300 delegates expected to attend.
Copac co-chairpersons, Cde Munyaradzi Mangwana and Mr Douglas Mwonzora, confirmed the postponement yesterday, saying it was meant to allow parties to conclude their consultations of the draft released last week.
“We cannot have the Project Board when parties are still discussing the draft and we will only meet when the consultations that are going on at the moment are complete,” Cde Mangwana said.
He said future activities of the constitution-making process were dependent on current consultations.
“All plans are based on certain events and all future programmes are dependent on the progress that would be made by the current consultations,” said Cde Mangwana.
This may result in the second all stakeholders’ conference that Copac had initially scheduled to be held before the end of this month being pushed to a later date.