|Copac: Still no deal on sticky issues|
|Wednesday, 24 October 2012 00:00|
Farirai Machivenyika and Lloyd Gumbo
that already existed among the three parties in the inclusive Government on the contents of the draft since it was made public.
Soon after the production of the draft, Zanu-PF rejected some of the clauses and proposed amendments, while the two MDC formations adopted it as it was.
Thematic committees mostly differed on what method to use between quantitative and qualitative.
In its presentation, the thematic committee on executive authority showed that some delegates wanted executive authority vested in the President while others wanted it shared within Cabinet.
“Those who said the clause should be retained argued that the draft was negotiated (by the GPA partners) and meets international best practices,” said the committee’s co-chairperson, Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa.
“The other view which got vigorous support was that executive authority should vest in the President since he is directly elected by the people and cannot be shared with appointees (Cabinet). This is because the National Statistical Report provides for an elected President.”
The committee also differed over to whom a sitting President may tender his or her resignation with some saying he should hand his resignation to Parliament while others argued that the letter should be handed over to the Chief Justice since he was responsible for his swearing in.
“We received comments and proposals for amendments on almost all provisions of sections of this chapter,” he said.
Some of the changes include term limits for top leaders of security services, the transfer of intelligence from the President’s Office to be under an Act of Parliament and that the President should consult Parliament when deploying defence forces.
On citizenship, committee co-chairperson Mr Felix Magalela Sibanda said there were differences on the issue of dual citizenship.
“Other delegates said the minority should be protected while some said Parliament should not determine citizenship,” he said.
There were also disagreements in the thematic committee on the judiciary and the courts where two views were expressed on whether to have a stand-alone constitutional court or for the Supreme Court to sit as a constitutional court when the need arises.
He said the committee also differed on the appointment of judges with others saying they should be appointed by the President in consultation with the Judicial Services Commission while some wanted the President to appoint them from a shortlist of persons interviewed publicly by the JSC.
“Some want devolution to be replaced with decentralisation while others said there was a need to retain devolution as provided for in the draft because it facilitates for the address of powers on socio-economic values,” said committee co-chairperson Mr Blessing Chebundo.
However, there were other differences bordering on semantics, for instance, on “security services” others wanted it to be called “security organs”.