Peaceful end to Copac

HARARE - The Constitution Select Committee (Copac)’s second All-Stakeholders conference ended peacefully in Harare yesterday with the parliamentary working group declaring its satisfaction with the outcome.

In a joint press statement, Copac co-chairpersons Douglas Mwonzora, Paul Mangwana and Edward Mkhosi praised President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for calling for non-violence.

“Copac expresses its gratitude to the Principals who spoke at the official opening ceremony appealing for peace and tolerance at all times and thanking the select committee for a job well done in having taken the mandate this far,” the statement said.

Mwonzora said the draft constitution would remain the principal document in the constitution-making process.

“Now that the draft has been presented to the stakeholders, the next stage will be the production of the national report which includes the draft constitution for debate in Parliament. After the debate in Parliament, Zimbabweans will be expected to vote in a referendum to decide whether the draft can be adopted as the new constitution for Zimbabwe,” Mwonzora said.

Mangwana, the other co-chair, said although the committee would not provide timelines, a referendum was likely to be held in January.

Following a chaotic and violent 1st All-Stakeholders conference there were fears that this latest Copac gathering could also degenerate into fist fights.

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