Wednesday, April 25, 2012

(HERALD) Principals issue final demand

Principals issue final demand
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 00:00
Herald Reporter

PRINCIPALS in the inclusive Government yesterday ordered the Constitution Select Committee and the management committee to conclude drafting the new Constitution and deliver the document to them next week.

They gave the directive at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting. In a statement, Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu said Cabinet “unanimously” agreed with the principals.

He said the principals expressed concern over the failure by Copac and the management committee to brief them on the challenges they were facing.

“During today’s (yesterday’s) Cabinet meeting, the principals to the Global Political Agreement expressed concern at the delay in concluding the Constitution by both the Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee and the management committee.

“The principals, the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, His Excellency President Mugabe, Prime

Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara also expressed concern at the failure by both the Select Committee and the management committee to brief the principals on any challenges they may be facing in the Constitution-making process,” he said.

Minister Shamu said the principals directed Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga to “work closely” with Copac and the management committee to produce the draft.

“The principals directed that the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Advocate Eric Matinenga, should work closely with the Select Committee and the management committee in order to conclude the drafting process by next week so as to deliver the draft Constitution to the principals.

“Advocate Matinenga was directed to brief Cabinet regularly on progress in the Constitution-making process. Cabinet unanimously agreed with the principals,” he said.

The directive comes at a time when Copac and the management committee were accusing each other of stalling the finalisation of the new supreme law.

Copac said the management committee was failing to resolve outstanding issues while the latter said they were waiting for a draft from Copac.

The management committee said devolution of power was the only outstanding issue which cannot stop the Constitution-making process.

The management committee is made up of GPA negotiators.

Copac claims the management committee is yet to agree on devolution and dual citizenship, among other issues that need to be incorporated into the new Constitution.

Last month President Mugabe indicated that elections will be held this year with or without a new Constitution.

The writing of the new Constitution started three years ago but has been stalled on several occasions by disagreements among political parties driving the process.
Observers have accused Copac of turning the process into a money-spinning venture.

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