'Joshua Nkomo would be happy with draft'

BULAWAYO - Zapu President Dumiso Dabengwa said the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo would be very happy with the Constitutional Select Committee (Copac) draft constitution although it needs to be polished up.

“There are several positive formulations in the current draft. Actually from a Zapu point of view this draft has captured many issues covered in the manifesto under which Dr Joshua Nkomo campaigned in 1980 such as the land question and livelihoods of Zimbabweans.

“Other areas in which we note positives are provisions for proportional representation, possibility of dual citizenship, neutrality and professionalism of the civil service, guaranteeing free and fair elections, promotion and increased protection of human rights and freedoms. These areas need strengthening through the inputs of stakeholders in the next round,” Dabengwa told journalists in Bulawayo on Wednesday.

Dabengwa blasted Zanu PF for rejecting the Copac draft constitution at the last minute and for trying to block the inclusion of “devolution of power” in the new constitution.

“On devolution, Zanu PF has instead stuck to variations of decentralisation, essentially emphasising the control of the centre which is Harare.

“In the outreach exercise the majority of Zimbabwe pronounced in favour of devolved structure of government,” he said.

The Zapu president said he has high hopes on the Sadc facilitation team’s ability to resolve the current impasse between the Zanu PF and the MDCs over the Copac draft constitution and allow a referendum to go ahead.

Despite putting their signature to a draft constitution agreed to by negotiators from all three parties in Copac, Zanu PF politburo carried out its own “audit” and is now seeking to amend the draft.

According to Justice minister and Zanu PF negotiator Patrick Chinamasa the proposed amendments by his party seek to clarify the “grey areas” left by the Copac Management Committee.

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