COPAC extends thematic committee stage by five days

copacDelegates working on COPACs thematic committee stages have been given five extra days to finish organising data collected during last years outreach program.

Initially the process was due to have ended over the weekend but the sheer size of data collected has made it impossible for the job to be completed in two weeks. COPAC has provisionally given delegates another five days to try and finish compressing the date into a usable format. This data will be sent to analysts who will go through the information before they pass it over to the drafting team, our correspondent Simon Muchemwa said.

Muchemwa said COPAC has sent out an SOS to donors for funds to enable the process to proceed to the next stage. He said drawing up of a new constitution has now reached a critical stage and an extra $1,8 million was needed to finish the job. I have been told that the thematic committee stage was the most difficult part of this exercise. In five days I believe the data will be transferred to analysts who will work on the information before they hand it over to a team of drafters, Muchemwa said.

The drawing up of a new constitution is aimed at boosting civil liberties, addressing corruption and placing greater checks on presidential power. But there are also reports that COPAC owes a lot of money to service providers and delegates. Muchemwa said about 300 people are owed about $1,500 each while hotels and companies that offered services to COPAC are still owed substantial monies.

Paul Mangwana is on record saying COPAC will pay its dues, Muchemwa said, adding that some delegates were however pessimistic they will be paid the outstanding monies. Public relations company Glomedia has also just taken COPAC to court, demanding more than $200,000 in outstanding fees. Glomedia, run by a former ZBC producer, sent the legal summons to COPAC Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, co-chairpersons Paul Mangwana of ZANU PF, Douglas Mwonzora from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC and Edward Mkhosi of the smaller faction of the MDC.

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