MKD calls for urgency in constitutional reforms

HARARE – The party led by former Finance Minister Simba Makoni has expressed its concern over the delay in the country's constitutional reform process by the coalition government.

In a statement issued to The Zimbabwe Mail, MKD said it is deeply concerned by the further delays of the Constitutional making process and demanded that the issue be concluded as a matter of urgency.

"The Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution (Copac) has lost two months (November and December) and it is not clear when the last processes of the constitution making process would be concluded as it is facing financial challenges.

At the conclusion of the Copac outreach meetings, a common question which usually cropped up from the public in almost each and every meeting was: "Now that we have contributed, what is the next step? Are you going to come back to us with the draft constitution before the referendum and if so when can we expect you?"

People were worried about the safety of their input and they also wanted an assurance that their views won’t be doctored like in the case of the Chidyausiku Commission ten years ago.

Those who had participated in the outreach also wanted to know the timetable for the remaining processes.

In response to these questions, Team Leaders could not give specific dates. They promised that they thought the next processes, uploading information, holding of thematic committees, drafting of the constitution, holding of all stakeholders conference, approval of draft constitution by Parliament and the holding of the referendum could be concluded before June 2010.

In light of the two months lost and the sudden loss of momentum in the constitution making process, Mavambo.Kusile.Dawn (MKD) would like the nation to know that we are very concerned about these further delays and we demand finality to the constitutional making.

We wonder whether Copac is serious about the whole issue.

Copac seem not to understand the urgency and importance of the issue.

It also seems that many Members of Parliament in the select committee clearly know that the conclusion of the constitution is likely to precede an early election which some of them are afraid of, hence the deliberate efforts to throw spanners into works and further delay the conclusion of the supreme law of the country.

MKD would also like to remind the Government of National Unity (GNU) that it is their duty to ensure that Copac is well resourced by the government not by donors in order to make sure that the issue of constitutional making is finalized.

In that regard we also wonder the sincerity of the GNU considering the fact that they spent US $28 million last year in foreign travel, but surprising Copac needs less than US$10 million to conclude the whole constitutional making process but nothing substantial has been allocated.

Our sincere submission is that it is only after the constitution making process has been finalized that talk of elections can start as it is the first step towards any credible poll.

It is surprising and difficult to understand why the Copac co-chairs, Honourable Douglas Mwonzora, Honourable Munyaradzi Paul Magwana and Honourable Edward Mukosi, failed to plan and strategise on this critical matter.

We thought that the idea of co-chairing by three people could bring different expertise to constitutional making but now it seems as if, this was just an issue of just making sure that jobs are created for the boys. In that regard we are not surprised why people have nicknamed Copac as a Confused Parliamentary Committee.

The co-chairs should understand that outreach team leaders promised the people of Mujeri in Binga, the people of Maboleni in Lower Gwelo, the people of Charara in Kariba, the people of Gwelushena in Nkayi, the people of Kamonde in Kenzamba, the people of Sipepa in Tsholotsho just to name but a few that this process might be concluded sooner."