Draft constitution finalisation unclear

HARARE - The just-ended constitution Second All- Stakeholders’ Conference ended without clarity regarding the next step in finalising the draft constitution, a coalition of local rights groups has said.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project, Zimbabwe Election Support Network and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, under the banner of the Independent Constitution Monitoring Project (ZZZICOMP) said this left room for manipulation.

“In terms of Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement the draft together with the report should be tabled before Parliament. That is as far as it goes in Article 6. We are not sure whether there are going to be amendments again to the draft before it is tabled or whether the draft will be tabled together with the report of everything that came out at the second All-Stakeholders’ Conference,” ZLHR executive director Irene Petras told reporters at a news conference in Harare yesterday.

“But I think that needs to be clarified by the authorities, because this is why we are saying that there is a lot of confusion around the process and if there is confusion that leaves room for manipulation,” she said.

She said Copac should publicly outline the roadmap that should finally lead to a referendum.

 “I do not think anyone is really sure what the next step is and that is why we are asking Copac very clearly to outline what the next step needs to be,” she said.

The three political parties in the coalition government have been blamed for turning the constitution-making process into political horse trading with little regard to stakeholders’ concerns. - Bridget Mananavire

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