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COPAC to appoint principle drafters to write text of new constitution

COPAC to appoint principle drafters to write text of new constitution

By Tichaona Sibanda
14 April 2011

The Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) is spearheading the 
drafting of a new constitution and has identified the three people who will 
be responsible for putting the final document together.

‘We sat down as the select committee and looked at individuals best suited 
to do the job. In the end we came up with three professional people who were 
chosen on the basis of their competence and experience,’ Douglas Mwonzora, 
co-chairman of COPAC said on Thursday.

Mwonzora, who declined to reveal the names of the three, said they were 
chosen from across Zimbabwean society, adding ‘two are black and one is 
white.’ SW Radio Africa is reliably informed one of them is a retired High 
Court Judge.

The three principal drafters are expected to begin their work at the end of 
May and will be assisted by six members from the three political parties to 
the GPA. Mwonzora said each party will have two people in the drafting 
committee and the three co-chairpersons of COPAC will complete the line-up, 
making a total of 12.

425 people from across the country have already been appointed to work on 
the thematic committees that will start work after the May Day holidays. 
Mwonzora said they devised a formula that will see the delegates being 
divided into 17 thematic areas.

‘These delegates will go through information obtained from outreach meetings 
and will be looking at specific topics under their thematic areas. They will 
view comments from district by district, meeting by meeting sifting through 
the information and getting rid of irrelevant data.

This will enable them to do away with information they are not dealing with 
and at the same time putting aside the appropriate data under their thematic 
areas. This relevant data will be compiled into a thematic report that will 
be sent to the drafting committee,’ Mwonzora added.

The select committee will study each of the reports from the 17 thematic 
groups and the frequently raised issues will be picked out and forwarded to 
the three principal drafters who will compress the information into a single 
new constitution for the country.

‘Barring any delays, we should be able to meet the September deadline to 
have a new constitution. We have been assured by the government and our 
stakeholders that they will provide us with enough funds to ensure we 
complete this exercise,’ said Mwonzora.

A new constitution is expected to pave the way for new elections, following 
the disputed 2008 polls that led to the unity government.



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