War vets demand national report

HARARE - A group of war veterans have warned the Parliamentary select committee (Copac) that they do not want to be forced into another “liberation struggle” over differences that can easily be resolved through dialogue.

Jabulani Sibanda, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veteran Association chairperson, told a Harare press conference that the select committee must produce outreach reports in order for Zimbabweans to compare what people said and what has now been captured in the draft.

“Maybe it is another liberation coming in the form of that, but we cannot put our people through that when we can sit and talk,” he said.

Zimbabwe was born out of a 15-year struggle, thus its independence must be protected from “future colonisation”, Sibanda added.

He said an analysis of Zimbabwe’s constitution-making process shows that the pattern or process has been compromised.

According to the Copac website, the current Constitution is a product of a compromise agreement reached at the Lancaster House Conference in 1979 between the outgoing colonial government and the incoming nationalist government at the end of the war of liberation.

“The current Constitution is widely regarded as inadequate and has many shortcomings that need to be addressed, despite it being amended a record 19 times,” Copac says.

Sibanda lashed out at Copac employees for digressing from their mandate of capturing people’s voices.

“Bring the argument back to what the people said, where is the national report?” Sibanda questioned.

“Why were the people’s voices captured? Because of this very reason now that everyone is claiming that this is what the people said, this is what the people said,” he said.

He said during the writing of the draft, Copac made the mistake of consulting the country’s political principals instead of referring to the document.

“You find that there are issues that were not even in the questionnaire that are now in the draft like the National Prosecuting Authority, are we now copying South Africa?”

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