Churches Refuse To Endorse Constitutional Process

Harare, – The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has received a major boost in its campaign to reject the proposed new constitution after a coalition of churches said they were unhappy with the chaotic constitution making process that took place last year.

“The church noted with concern that prior to the official launch of the outreach programme, the process was characterised by inordinate delays. The operating environment remains largely repressive and made a negative impact on the participation by the public in the reform process, this proved by the lack of transparency on the sequence and dates of the meetings that continued to change,” read part of the pastoral letter released Tuesday.

“The constitution making process needed to be more transparent so that the outcome will be a people driven constitution. All stakeholders should have been well represented in the constitution making process so that the outcome is not politically driven,” the church leaders said in the letter.

The NCA, a coalition of civic organisations including, labour unions, student and youth groups, women groups, churches, business groups and human rights organisations advocating for the crafting of a people driven constitution is currently leading a “No Vote” campaign to reject the proposed new constitution during the referendum set for this year.

The Lovemore Madhuku-led constitutional reform body is opposed to the present political parties driven constitution-making exercise.

Meanwhile reports in Harare said the constitution making process is set to be further delayed after workers hired to upload information collected from the outreach programme threatened to boycott the process demanding more pay.

They signed the petition which they forwarded to the Parliamentary Constitutional committee that has been spearheading the constitutional process.

Efforts by Radio VOP to get an official comment from all the three COPAC co-chairpersons, namely Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T), Edward Mukosi (MDC) and Paul Mangwana (ZANU-PF) were fruitless as they were said to be in an urgent meeting to resolve the impasse. – Radio VOP