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Zimbabwe Parties Fight Again Over New Constitution Report

The Parliamentary Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) has finished writing the Second All Stakeholders' Conference report which it handed over to the management committee Monday but sources said Zanu PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations failed to agree on the way forward.

The sources said Zanu PF wanted the report to be handed over to the principals first while the MDC was insisting that the select committee should present the report to parliament first since it is in charge of the constitution-making process.

The disagreement has thrown the constitution writing process into turmoil once again raising fears that this will delay the holding of the referendum.

Last week, COPAC handed over the report to the management committee but the document was returned because it did not include critical issues raised during the conference.

COPAC co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said they were expecting to produce the national report any time next week but is no longer sure whether this will succeed.

Unity government parties have been fighting over the control of the process for more than three years. Indications are that they are likely to seek the intervention of the Southern African Development Community's point person on Zimbabwean political issues, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

Zanu PF and the two MDC formations have differed sharply over the drafting of a new constitution with Zanu PF now insisting that the governing party principles should take over the process.

The MDCs are opposing this move saying the constitution-making process should be conducted by parliament in conjuntion with members of the public.
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