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No Respite for Zimbabwe's Troubled Constitution Revision Process

Zimbabwe's constitution-making process continues to run into trouble with representatives from President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF pulling out of a Copac meeting Wednesday, protesting the shelving of the party's plans to overhaul the new draft document.

Another meeting has now been scheduled by the Management Committee in Nyanga from June 17 to 21 to deal with the outstanding issues.

The Management Committee said Copac has failed to produce a final draft after missing a number of deadlines. But Copac co-chairs charged the committee has also failed to resolve contentious issues.

Zanu PF proposed to overhaul the Copac draft from the preamble to the last chapter, saying it did not represent the views of people expressed during the outreach process, but the other parties have continued to disagree with the tabled issues.

For further perspective on the troubled process, VOA's Tatenda Gumbo spoke to National Constitutional Assembly spokesman Madock Chivasa and Zimbabwe Council of Churches general secretary Reverend Solomon Zwana.

Reverend Zwana said selfish political interests have derailed the new constitutional effort.

"It has nothing to do with national progress but more to do with selfish interests but the political parties, who are now regarding the whole process as their own," said Zwana.

Chivasa charged the problem lies behind the process which has been driven by a politically-aligned Copac committee.

"They seem now to be pursuing their own agenda; they are no longer representing the general public," said Chivasa.

"The problem with that is there are Zimbabweans who are not necessarily MDC of Zanu PF but want to give their input on what should be in their constitution."