Bid to stop Copac conference

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s plans to hold an indaba to pave way for the crafting of a new constitution which sets terms for holding of new elections are in danger of collapse following a lawsuit filed in the High Court yesterday seeking to stop the process.

Danny Musukuma, whose public profile is not known but is believed to be a Zanu PF functionary, yesterday petitioned the High Court in an urgent chamber application to stop the Second All-Stakeholders Conference from being held until the National Statistical report has been made public.

He cites the Constitution Parliamentary Committee (Copac) as the first respondent and blames it for seeking to drive the constitution making-process forward at the conference without publishing the views of the people gathered during outreach meetings.

Political negotiators from Zanu PF and the two MDC parties are also cited as respondents in the suit.

The Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference is set to start on Sunday, running until Tuesday.

“If this Second All-Stakeholders Conference scheduled for the above stated dates is allowed to go through under these circumstances wherein the general Zimbabwean public has not had sight of the contents of the national report what it will mean is that the stakeholders will have proceeded with the constitution making-process without the views of their principals, the general people of Zimbabwe. The constitution making process will cease to be people driven as it should be.”

“Failure by the 1st respondent (Copac) to make this National Statistical Report available to the general Zimbabwean public violates the national people’s rights to freedom of expression.

Musukuma argues that the people of Zimbabwe’s participation would not be meaningful if they do not know what is contained in the national statistical report.

“The Zimbabwean people must be able to compare it with the Copac draft at the second all Stakeholders’ conference from an informed point of view. Without doing this justice cannot be seen to have been done.” - Bridget Mananavire

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