Zimbabwe Constituitional Dispute Referred To GPA Superiors

Harare, – Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) on Wednesday resolved to refer the issue of methodology to be used in analysing data collected from the people for the new constitution of Zimbabwe to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) superiors.\r\n

COPAC co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora is accusing Zanu (PF) of trying to convert the process into a quantitative one rather than the agreed qualitative. He said as the MDC-T they have six reasons why they are against the use of a quantitative process.

“We can not continue perpetuating a fraud. They (Zanu PF) want to insist on the issue of frequencies…that is how many times an issue was raised during the outreach meetings which will distort the whole process,” said Mwonzora.

He said the matter was discussed at a management committee meeting that sat on April 11, 2011 where it was resolved that the process “must never be made into a quantitative one”.

“Zanu (PF) can never be allowed to go against that decision of the management committee,” he said adding that all the parties in the inclusive government were represented during the management committee meeting.

Mwonzora said there were more meetings in the rural areas compared to the urban areas which will make the issue of counting frequencies heavily skewed in favour of Zanu (PF).

“We also know that there were different numbers in attendance at different meetings which will make the quantitative approach very difficult to use,” said Mwonzora.

He also said that during the constitutional outreach meetings the approach was never quantitative but qualitative.
Another Co-chairperson Edward Mkhosi concurred with Mwonzora and said they met as a party in the morning (Wednesday) and resolved that the process be suspended until there is an agreement.

“No party has got a mandate to go it alone in the GPA and succeed. Whoever thinks he may go it alone is engaging in a futile exercise,” said Mkhosi.

However another co-chairperson Paul Mangwana told journalists that the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, had pulled out of the process and accused the party of attempting to derail the constitution making process.

“We had agreed that we were going to use a hybrid approach to the issue. Initially we would do a quantitative process and then move to a qualitative one. This process will help us to know what the people said during the outreach process,” said Mangwana.

He said the MDC-T has now realised that their issues were not raised during the outreach process and “they want to derail the whole exercise”.

“We have told our members to continue working but the MDC-T has advised its members to stop. We know their agenda is being driven by their Western funders who want issues to do with homosexuality included in our constitution,” said Mangwana.