BY NQABA MATSHAZI
TRANSLATION of the Copac draft constitution into 14 local languages has been postponed, as Zanu PF dithers with the new charter.
Translation was due to have started on July 30, and due to Copac being pressed for time, the process was supposed to have lasted a week to enable the draft to circulate before the all stakeholders’ conference.Copac had already been in touch with the translators advising them to start work last Monday, but they had to call back to advise that the work had been put on the back burner.
Sources revealed that Zanu PF’s non-committal on the draft had forced the translation to be put further back, as it was feared that the party may insist on changes.
Copac co-chair, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana confirmed that translation had been halted.
“It has been stopped for a while, as there are issues still coming from the parties,” he said. “It will be uneconomical for them to go ahead and then there are changes later on.”
However, the MDC formations have already endorsed the draft and want it brought before the all stakeholders’ conference set for October as it is.
The MDC led by Welshman Ncube has already indicated that none of the parties had veto power on the draft and also that parties did not have the right to make changes, meaning it would oppose any changes.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T has endorsed the draft, although there are reports that it was willing to change some provisions.
However, Copac spokesperson, Jessie Majome last week, insisted that all was on track.
“Copac has not given a date on which translation will commence, thus the date of the 30th which you mention as the date on which this process was supposed to commence is not correct and does not reflect the official and correct position,” she said in written responses. “As such, there has been no postponement.”
Majome said translation was specialised and complex and hence a time frame could not be given for the process.
The draft is due to be translated into Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Khoisan, Nambya, Ndau, Shangaan, Shona, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa.
However, translators for Kalanga and Xhosa are yet to be appointed.
BY NQABA MATSHAZI