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Residents’ groups to back draft constitution

BULAWAYO — Local residents’ associations have resolved to support the Copac draft constitution during the Second all-stakeholders’ conference set for October 21 to 23.

Report by Nqabani Ndlovu

The associations last week formed an 11-member taskforce that would push for the inclusion of complete devolution of power, among other demands, during the conference. This came out at a one-day national residents’ association conference held in Bulawayo last week.

The conference, attended by 30 residents associations from across the country, was organised by the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) and the Zimbabwe Institute (ZI).

“The conference resolved to adopt and defend the Copac draft, but called on the select committee to address the identified content gaps within the draft constitution,” reads part one of the resolutions adopted by the residents‘ associations after their conference.

“The conference elected a national taskforce composed of 11 members selected from the 10 provinces. The conference tasked the residents’ national taskforce to present the identified gaps to the all-stakeholders’ conference.”

Copac has said the purpose of the conference was to allow delegates to make comments and recommendations on the draft. Their input would be recorded and considered by the select committee, who would then make appropriate adjustments to the draft.

The residents associations said the taskforce would push for the total inclusion of devolution of power, creation of a local government commission, recognition of residents’ associations.

“The role of the national taskforce will be to defend the residents’ interests at the second All-Stakeholders Conference and to popularise the position of residents’ associations on the constitution.”

The two MDC’s have already said they supported the Copac draft constitution. Zanu PF is however, against the Copac draft and is pushing for its amendment, among them, the removal of clauses that limit the powers of the President.

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