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GPA Negotiators to Finalise on Draft Constitution

GPA Negotiators to Finalise on Draft Constitution

10 hours 27 minutes ago
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HARARE, June 16, 2012 – THE Parliamentary Constitution Select Committee 
(COPAC) management committee goes on a three-day retreat on Sunday at a 
secret location in desperate attempts to break the gridlock over the final 
draft of the proposed new constitution.

Reports are awash that ZANU-PF wants fundamental changes in the draft 

Last week Radio VOP disclosed that President Robert Mugabe’s party had come 
up with a 29-page document in which the party proposed several changes to 
the present draft, raising further fears the party intends sabotaging the 
constitution-making process.

ZANU-PF COPAC point-man Paul Mangwana, told state media on Thursday that 
over 200 issues disagreement had emerged.

But there is speculation ZANU-PF is making the outrageous proposals so as to 
delay the conclusion of the drafting of the new constitution, enabling its 
leader to unilaterally call for fresh polls under the negotiated Lancaster 
House constitution which has been amended nineteen times.

But Tendai Biti, the secretary- general of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s 
formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on Friday in an 
interview that chances were slim that the COPAC management would entertain 
the fresh issues being proposed by ZANU-PF to be belatedly incorporated in 
the draft.

Biti said as far as he was concerned the draft would sail through with 
minimal changes after three days of deliberations.

“We are going into the bush on Sunday until Wednesday and I am confident we 
will come up with the final draft of the new constitution for the people of 
Zimbabwe. We might be accused of coming up with a weak constitution but I 
tell you it is far much better than the current one we are using which has 
been amended several times,” said Biti.

“In the present draft constitution we have a fantastic bill of rights, 
freedom of the media and of expression, the National Prosecuting Authority 
among a host of other goods things that Zimbabweans have long wanted 
enshrined in their constitution,” added Biti, who is the MDC-T chief 
negotiator under the power-sharing truce signed between President Robert 
Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur 

Asked if the COPAC management would bent over to accommodate the latest 
shocking ZANU-PF demands Biti said: “After haggling for so long trying to 
write this document, I don’t think we are even going to look into it.

“I know there are agents of chaos in ZANU-PF who want to sabotage the 
constitution-making but they will fail because when we emerge on Wednesday 
we will be having a new constitution because ZANU-PF people directly 
involved in the constitution-making process agree with us over what people 
want in their constitution.”

In the COPAC management committee ZANU-PF is represented by Emmerson 
Mnangagwa, Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche while the MDC-T has Biti and 
Elton Mangoma. The Welshman Ncube-led MDC is represented by Priscilla 
Misiharambwi-Mushonga, Edward Mkhosi and Moses Mzila-Ndlovu.

SADC has demanded the conclusion of a new constitution, a referendum on the 
new constitution and the full implementation of agreed issues under the GPA, 
including key media and electoral reforms, before the staging of fresh 



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