THE SELECT COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENT ON THE NEW CONSTITUTION (COPAC) ORGANISATION PROFILE
COPAC is a Committee of Parliament that was mandated to spearhead the Constitution - making process in the country. It was established in April 2009. COPAC was founded based on Article VI of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which was signed on 15 September 2008. The new Constitution is aimed at replacing the current Constitution which is a product of the Lancaster House Conference of 1979. It is widely regarded as inadequate because it has many shortcomings and has had to be amended 19 times.
COPAC is composed of 25 members of the 7th Parliament of Zimbabwe who were selected from the three political parties to spearhead the crafting of a new Constitution. The 25 members are referred to as the Select Committee of Parliament on the new Constitution. The Select Committee is led by three Co-chairpersons who were selected from each party, namely, Hon. Paul Mangwana from ZANU PF, Hon. Douglas Mwonzora from MDC T and Hon. Edward Mkhosi from MDC M. The following are the other members of the Committee: Hon Flora Buka, Hon. Amos Chibaya, Hon. Walter Chidakwa, Hon. Gift Chimanikire, Hon. Edward Chindori Chininga, Hon. David Coltart, Hon. Gladys Dube, Hon. Joram Gumbo, Hon. Ian Kay, Hon. Martin Khumalo, Hon. Believe Gaule, Hon. Jessie Majome, Hon. Cephas Makuyana, Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, Hon. Thokozile Mathuthu, Hon. Rorana Muchihwa, Hon. Editor Matamisa, Hon. Tambudzani Mohadi, Hon. Olivia Muchena, Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa, Hon. Jabulani Ndlovu and Hon. Brian Tshuma.
Management Committee and Steering Committee
Other structures within COPAC include the Management Committee and the Steering Committee. The Management Committee comprises of the negotiators of the GPA, the three Co-chairpersons of the Select Committee and the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs. This committee provides policy direction to the Constitution - making process. The Steering Committee is composed of the three Co-chairpersons of the Select Committee, their three deputies and two representatives from Civil Society,namely Dr.Hope Sadza and Professor Phinias Makhurane. The Steering Committee is responsible for overseeing the implementation of decisions of the Management Committee, while the Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs is the focal point for the Constitution - making process.
The COPAC Secretariat is responsible for supporting the Select Committee in running the day to day activities of the organization. Secretariat was set up and started working in December 2009. The Secretariat is headed by the National Co-ordinator, Mr Peter Kunjeku.
The Select Committee of Parliament is mandated by Article VI of the GPA which reads:
6.1. The Parties hereby agree:
(a) that they shall set up a Select Committee of Parliament composed of representatives of the Parties whose terms of reference shall be as follows:
(i) To set up such Sub- Commitees chaired by a member of Parliament and composed of Members of Parliament and representatives of Civil Society as may be necessary to assist the Select Committee in performing its mandate herein;
(ii) To hold such public hearings and such consultations as it may deem necessary in the process of public consultation over the making of a new constitution for Zimbabwe.
Article 6.1.(c) of the GPA also outlines that:-
(vii) The draft Constitution emerging from Parliament shall be gazetted before the holding of a referendum.
(viii) A referendum on the new draft Constitution shall be held within three months of the conclusion of the debate.
(ix) In the event of the draft Constitution being approved in the referendum it shall be gazetted within one month of the date of the referendum.
To be seen as a successful organization driving the Constitution - making process.
To ensure the drafting of a new constitution through an inclusive, people-driven and democratic process.
COPAC is driven by the values of integrity, democracy, impartiality and transparency.
COPAC - ensuring a people-driven constitution.
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