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Constitution process hobbles on

Mwonzora said the drafting stage would immediately commence once the issues that must be in the constitution are identified. Mwonzora said Copac had finalised the framework for a constitution and they had  agreed on 23 constitutional principles including the principle that land belongs to all Zimbabweans and must be de-racialised.

“We have a principle that security forces must uphold the constitution and human rights, we have principles on gender and equality and gender mainstreaming and protection of minority rights,” said Mwonzora.

The MDC led by Welshman Ncube has called on Copac to publicise reports of the outreach programme before the drafting of a constitution. MDC national organising secretary Qhubani Moyo said publicising the provincial and national reports of the outreach programme is essential to avoid conflicts in the long run over the validity of views in the draft constitution.

“This will assist in building confidence in the process as the public will be informed of what came out of the process and how those views were converted to a draft constitution,” Moyo said.

But Mwonzora said it was too early to publicise the reports because they were not yet complete. According to the power-sharing agreement, the country will also go for polls after the conclusion of the constitution-making process, which is however behind schedule.

President Robert Mugabe insists that elections should be held early next year while Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai feels that elections can only be held in the third quarter of 2012. But Ncube was quoted last week saying holding elections next year was impossible, predicting that polls can only be held in the last quarter of 2013.

The constitution-making process has been bogged down by disagreements and financial constraints amid reports that Copac is in debt with several service providers.

—By Nqobani Ndlovu

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