THE NATIONAL AND PROVINCIAL STATISTICAL REPORTS
Download Foreword to National Statistical Report
The Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) was set up through Article IV of the Global Political Agreement to spearhead the Constitution making process through a people driven, inclusive and democratic process. The Constitution making process aimed to create conditions for the people of Zimbabwe to write a constitution for themselves being mindful of the need to ensure that the new constitution deepens our values and principles and the protection of the quality of life of all citizens.
In the implementation of the above mandate the following time frames were provided:
- The Select committee shall be set up within two months of inception of a new government;
- The convening of the first All Stakeholders Conference shall be within 3 months of the date of the appointment of the Select Committee;
- The public consultation process shall be completed no later than four months of the date of the first All Stakeholders Conference;
- The draft Constitution shall be tabled within 3 months of completion of the public consultation process to a second All Stakeholders Conference;
- The draft Constitution and the accompanying Report shall be tabled before Parliament within 1 month of the second All Stakeholders Conference;
- The draft Constitution and the accompanying report shall be tabled before Parliament and the debate concluded within one month;
- The draft Constitution emerging from Parliament shall be gazette before the holding of a referendum;
- A referendum on the new draft Constitution shall be held within 3 months of the conclusion of the debate;
- In the event of the draft Constitution being approved in the referendum it shall be gazette within 1 month of the date of the referendum; and
- The draft Constitution shall be introduced in Parliament no later than 1 month after the expiration of the period of 30 days from the date of its gazetting.
Regrettably, the completion of this process took longer than anticipated for reasons that will be elaborately explained in the National Report, save to say that the lack of adequate and timeous funding were major issues, as well as the need to ensure that all stakeholders are extensively consulted at every stage of the process. It is important at this stage to state clearly that whilst this brief, which is about the National and Provincial Statistical Reports seeks to give the statistical details of the outcome of the outreach process, the National Report referred to above will extensively cover the whole process, and will specifically incorporate the following activities:
- The convening and outcomes of the first All Stakeholders Conference in 2009.
- The establishment of the Select Committee secretariat, as well as the training of outreach teams in December 2009 and January 2010.
- The training of Rapporteurs in April 2010.
- The nationwide outreach programme between June and October 2010.
- The Data uploading process between January and February 2011.
- The holding of Thematic Committee meetings between April and May 2011.
- The Report writing process between July and September 2011.
- The data and process auditing exercise in October 2011.
- The preparatory work for drafting in November 2011.
- The drafting process between December 2011 and March 2012.
- The second All Stakeholders Conference.
- The Report to Parliament.
- The Referendum process.
Readers of this National Statistical Report will be able to bear witness to the tremendous work the Select Committee has put into the process. Equally, this National and Provincial Statistical report will show the sheer determination of the Select Committee to give effect to what the people said during outreach. These reports are a product of extensive discussions, and contain critical information that can be used for future national development processes. The meticulous process from the preparation of the ward to these National Statistical Reports bear testimony to the wonderful work of the Select Committee, and will forever remain one of the most ingenious processes ever under taken in this country at a critical juncture in our political discourse.
Brief overview of the outreach process
COPAC embarked on an outreach consultative programme to collect the peoples’ views to form the constitution. The process took 105 days to complete against the budgeted 65 days due to the need to ensure the majority of the people participated as some of the meetings were cancelled due to non attendance by the people as a result of lack of adequate information on venues and starting times.
Seventy teams were set up comprising of representatives of the three main political parties civic society and other political parties to ensure the inclusive and democratic nature of the process pursuant to the requirements of article VI of the GPA.
Generally the public hearings were held in a peaceful environment, save for some cases of violence which resulted in some meetings, especially in Harare being abandoned. A rerun for those aborted meetings was however successfully undertaken. A total of 4821 public meetings were held in 1950 wards nationwide. Thematic based questions were asked using a standard guide in the form of the 17 thematic areas produced at the first all Stakeholders conference thereafter generally referred to as the 26 Talking Points. The Talking points comprised of questions which required listing and those which required scoring. At these public meetings participation was voluntary and all the responses were recorded in written and electronic formats. These responses formed the basis of this statistical analysis.
In the rural areas at least three public meetings were held per ward while in the urban areas, there were generally no more than one meeting in each ward. During data analysis, two views emerged, with one view suggesting the use of a meeting as the unit of measurement and another suggesting the use of the ward. Following extensive discussions, the Select Committee resolved to use the ward as the unit of measurement rather than the meeting since this would have given an unfair advantage to areas which had more meetings than others. The Select Committee agreed to collapse all outcomes of ward based meetings into a ward view. On questions which required scoring (generally referred to as the quantitative approach) the most frequently mentioned response was recorded as the ward view. On questions that required listing (generally referred to as the qualitative approach), all the views were listed. The Select Committee resolved that both the quantitative as well as the qualitative approaches were to be used in determining the importance of an issue raised during meetings.
Statistics from outreach were consolidated into a database for use during the extraction of the Ward, District, Provincial and National Statistical reports. For questions which required listing the number of wards in which an issue was mentioned out of 1950 wards was expressed as a percentage. For questions which required scoring the relative proportions in which the issues were mentioned in the various wards were expressed as a percentage giving a total of 100 percent.
Interpretation of Statistics
The percentages generated in the statistical reports are based on the number of wards in which an issue was mentioned out of the total number of wards. It therefore gives a general indication of the views which came out of the public consultative process. Given the fact that this was not a scientific study, the Select Committee resolved that both the statistics (quantitative) and the qualitative aspects of the outcomes ( for example meeting atmosphere and others) must be taken into account in deciding what would eventually go into the constitution. The interpretation of these statistics therefore has to take into account these limitations in the methodology used. Whilst a high frequency was a general guide that in itself was not the sole determinant of the importance of an issue enough to find its way into the Draft Constitution that has been produced. It is for this reason that the Select Committee adopted two versions of interpreting the final data: the National Statistical Report, which aggregates the outcomes in each ward and expresses that as a percentage of all the wards in the country, and the Provincial Statistical Reports, which basically indicate how an issue faired per each province without subjecting it to the outcomes of other provinces.
The National Statistical Report gives the national preponderance of an issue without considering the ‘software side issues’ which the Provincial Statistical Reports seek to illuminate. Where an issue for example enjoyed 100 percent frequency in each of five provinces and an average of 5 percent in each of the other five provinces in the country, the national preponderance would favour the outcomes in the five provinces that recorded 100 per cent frequency as reflecting generally what the country is saying on the issue. The Provincial Statistical Reports approach would however seek to understand why the issue received such varied acceptance across the country. The tendency of the Select Committee on such issues was to therefore come up with a middle of the road position where applicable, in order to give effect to the diverse view points which emerged, rather than taking the absolute percentage in toto as advanced by the National Statistical approach, notwithstanding the fact that the National Statistical approach was an acceptable general guide, and most issues with high frequencies found their way into the Draft Constitution.
The drafting process commenced with extraction of constitutional issues by a team of technical experts drawn from the 3 main political parties and representatives from the Chief’s Council. These issues were drawn from the consultative meetings, Members of Parliament ,the website submissions, children’s outreach and other sectoral submissions.
Thereafter a process was undertaken to determine which Constitutional issues should go into the Constitution, and the approaches highlighted above were extensively used in this determination
Following the realization that there were some gaps in the information collected and that the type of questions asked during the consultative process answered the “what” component but did not address the “how” aspect, a team of local technical experts was mandated to identify the gaps in the information and research on how the gaps could be filled as well as research on best practices on implementation. The Gap filling process was done to bring into effect what the people had said.
The ‘Agreed Issues Document’, the ‘Gap Filling Document’, the ‘Constitutional Principles’ and the ‘Draft Framework’ formed the basic instructions given to the Drafters. All these documents were derived from the National and Provincial Statistical Reports and because these documents were a product of extensive discussion and analysis, the Select Committee resolved that the drafters could not use the National and Provincial Statistical Reports as these would further confuse drafters and probably result in undermining what the Select Committee would have agreed to.
The views of Zimbabweans in the diaspora, website submissions, views of Members of Parliament, Children, the Disabled and sectorial submissions are contained in separate reports to be incorporated into the final National Report, suffice to say that the views as expressed by these groups have already been taken into account in the Draft Constitution.
The Select Committee wishes to thank Zimbabweans for contributing extensively during the outreach meetings, and for being patient with COPAC in its trying times. You have remained calm in the face of attempts to stir up emotions, and have patiently waited for this moment in the country’s history. The Draft Constitution produced, with the assistance of the negotiators to the GPA in unlocking some sticky issues, is still a draft, and the people of Zimbabwe have an opportunity to further interrogate the Draft between now and the second All Stakeholders Conference. We urge Zimbabweans to have a national outlook in the conversations that follow, and to shun divisive tendencies and politics of hatred. It is our Constitution, it is our moment, and it is our heritage.