COPAC response to the Herald article: COPAC data disappers
The Constitution Select Committee, COPAC, would like to correct certain inaccurate information in the above article that appeared on the front page of the Herald on Thursday, 27 January, 2011 entitled, ‘COPAC data disappears’. The article carried incorrect information regarding certain facts about the recently held data uploading process.
First and foremost, no data has gone missing from COPAC as implied in the article. The headline is misleading, and causing unnecessary panic among the people regarding the management of the recently collected data on the constitution-making process. All the data collected during outreach was recently verified through a tripartite verification system to confirm that it was indeed the data that was collected during the outreach phase.
During the data uploading process, information on the field reports was typed into computers and uploaded into a giant server in preparation for use by the Thematic Committees. This information was, and still is being kept under tight security by the ZRP. Three technical specialists representing the three political parties also oversaw the data uploading exercise to ensure that the data was not tampered with. CODACA V01 was used to upload the information. A total of 4830 reports were uploaded during the exercise. Typed reports were then printed out and team leaders used their field reports which they signed for to verify that the information on the printed reports was the same as that which they signed for during the outreach phase of the process. This process was successfully done and there were no anomalies reported.
However, there were some discrepancies noted on the CODADA reports printed from the server where it was noted that certain information relating to the thematic areas on land, natural resources and the environment had not been captured. Preliminary enquiries attributed these problems to system challenges, and COPAC has not yet completed investigations into the possible causes of this problem. It is therefore premature, at this juncture, to make any suspicions beyond the one already mentioned. The suggestion that any political party could have tempered with the information is unfounded. A systems specialist has already been engaged to troubleshoot and rectify the problem.
COPAC has put in place robust security systems to ensure that the people’s contributions on the new constitution are secure. It is only these views that will constitute the new constitution for Zimbabwe. The constitution-making process being spearheaded by COPAC is a transparent process and we are accountable to the people of Zimbabwe in ensuring that the work is done properly.
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