Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Zim’s Constitution-making To Resume Next Week

Zim’s Constitution-making To Resume Next Week

Harare, July 24, 2011 – The stalled constitution-making process is expected 
to resume on Monday after the Management Committee of the Constitution 
Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) held a crisis meeting to sort 
differences over what methodology to use to compile data from the outreach 

The process stalled two weeks ago on the basis that there is no more 

COPAC’s Management committee comprising the six Global Political Agreement 
(GPA) negotiators – Tendai Biti (MDC-T), Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu 
(PF),Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga (Small Movement of Democratic Change 
Faction (MDC). Elton Mangoma (mainstream MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai 
(MDC-T), Nicholas Goche (Zanu (PF) and Moses Mzila-Ndlovu (MDC) and the 
Constitution-making process’s three co-chairpersons, Munyaradzi Mangwana 
(Zanu (PF), Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) and Edward Ndlovu (MDC) and Eric 
Matinenga, the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, met in 
Harare on Tuesday night.

Officials said it has been agreed that both qualitative and quantitative 
methods be used in compilation of district and provincial reports after 
heated discussions.

Matinenga, the minister directly in charge with the writing of the new 
constitution, said the disputes which threatened to derail the 
constitution-making process were trashed out on Tuesday night.

“We have found a way forward. The dispute has been around the use of the 
methodology for the process but we meet as the Management Committee on 
Tuesday night to resolve issues. We came up with an agreement that we should 
recognise the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods. I hope we 
are not going to go back on this latest agreement,” said Matinenga.

The MDC has been supporting the use of qualitative methods as it argued that 
numbers were not important but the quality of submissions made by the public 
during the outreach.

Zanu (PF) which vigorously campaigned for its views to be held countrywide, 
has been pushing for quantitative methods of compiling reports because of 
the dominance of the party’s views during the outreach.

Apart from political differences, the constitution-making process has been 
bedevilled by lack of sufficient funds to bank-roll it since its start in 
January 2009.

Last week the Zanu (PF) politburo, the party’s supreme decision-making body 
outside congress, accused Finance Minister Biti of attempting to delay the 
drafting of the new constitution, allegedly by refusing to fund the process.

But Matinenga said if there was no money to continue with the process, the 
inclusive government would find it, saying there was a provision that the 
government should use its reserves to finance the exercise.

“Finances will always be an issue but we will always find the money. The 
budget did not set aside a lump sum for the process but there is an 
understanding that we will always be going to treasury if we ran out of 
funds. In that respect the treasury has not disappointed,” added Matinega.

COPAC is understood to be in urgent need of about US$1 million to complete 
the district and provincial outreach reports.

More millions would be needed for the remaining stages that include the 
drafting of the new constitution, the holding of the second All-Stakeholders 
Conference, the presentation of the draft to parliament and a referendum. If 
approved by the referendum, the draft constitution will be placed before 
parliament where it is expected to be passed into law, leading to fresh 
polls to bring closure to the acrimonious inclusive government.



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