Harare – 13 January, 2012
The Constitution Select Committee, COPAC, is pleased to announce that the drafting process that commenced recently is on-going. The three principal drafters, Justice Moses Chinengo, Ms Priscilla Madzonga and Mr Brian Crozier commenced work on the 5th of December, 2011 and have already submitted four chapters to the Select Committee for review.
The Select Committee, in line with its terms of reference accorded by Article VI of the GPA, has completed the process of identifying and filling the gaps existing in the information gathered during the outreach and is also reviewing the first four chapters that came from the drafters.
When the drafters commenced work on the 5th of January, the Select Committee had not finished the process of gap filling. This process has since been concluded and the drafters are now continuing with their work using the new instructions that they got from the Select Committee. If, for example, in the process of drafting they still come across gaps, they bring these to the attention of the Select Committee. The drafters, in the new instructions, will only use the agreed concepts given to them by the Select committee. It has also been made clear in the instructions that the drafters shall not interpret what the people of Zimbabwe said.
The drafters have also been instructed to advise the Select Committee on matters relating to international best practice and all the drafts that they will produce shall remain proposals until they are approved by the Select Committee. The drafting process shall be both iterative and interactive in order to allow the parties to achieve consensus.
The Select Committee, with the assistance of the technical experts, is in the meantime busy reviewing the preliminary four drafts which were merely works in progress and doing further research for areas where this is necessary. This ensures that the draft being produced by the drafters is complete. Any judgment on these preliminary chapters is therefore premature as the Select Committee itself is seized with deliberating upon these drafts during which process they are subject to changes and continuous development until they reach their final form. Issues which the Select Committee had initially failed to reach consensus on and were generally referred to as “parked issues” have also been subjected to further discussions in an effort to gain common ground. This has resulted in some issues being removed from the list thereby expediting the drafting process.
COPAC would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to spearheading a people-driven constitution-making process which is also inclusive and democratic. Tangible outcomes have already been achieved from the process so far, and all stakeholders are being urged to support the process in this critical and final stage before the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference. At this conference, Zimbabweans will through representatives, have the chance to comment on the draft. COPAC will ensure that the draft, when ready is available in local languages and in Braille.
Hon. MP Mangwana
Hon. DT Mwonzora
Hon. ET Mkhosi
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