THE MDC-T has said changes can still be made to the draft constitution at the Second All-stakeholders Conference as the stand-off between the GPA parties over the document appeared to ease during the week.
“By its very nature the Second All Stakeholders Conference can make far reaching changes to the draft,” MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said Friday
On Thursday Zanu PF gave in to demands by the MDCs for the draft to be taken to the second stake-holders conference after initially demanding that President Robert Mugabe, Premier Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube discuss its amendments to the document.
“We have said as a party that we will go to the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference with the Copac draft, but the national report should be printed before the stakeholders conference so that everyone can have a copy and compare with the Copac draft,” Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said.
“We are saying the new Constitution should fully take into account the issues that we raised. If the MDC formations endorse the draft as it is, we will ask the people who will be present to compare with the national report.
“We will go to the All Stakeholders’ Conference with our amendments.”
The MDC-T welcomed the development noting: “At the very long last the faction-ridden Zanu PF Politburo has resolved to follow the provisions of the Global Political Agreement and agreed to let the Copac draft to be taken to the Second All Stakeholders Conference.
“It is disheartening that Zanu PF has delayed this important process due to the dysfunctional factionalism in that party. Had this process not been unreasonably delayed, the Second All Stakeholders Conference would have been held before the end of August 2012.
“We hope that Zanu PF is genuine this time and that it is not just trying to fool SADC that the process is mow on course so as to pre-empt a possible SADC summit on Zimbabwe meant to discuss the constitutional impasse. We hope this time around Zanu PF are not playing the usual political games with the people of Zimbabwe.”
But Mwonzora rejected Zanu PF’s demand for the publication of Copac’s national report on the constitutional reform process.
He said: “By definition a national report is a record of everything that happens in a process. That means in the case of Copac the national report must record among other things, what happened at the First Stakeholders Conference, the public outreach, the drafting stage and
what will happen or be resolved at the Second All Stakeholders Conference.
“While the other processes have now taken place, the crucial Second All Stakeholders Conference has not yet taken place. Any purported publication of the national report at this stage means that from the report will result in crucial information being omitted.
“The Second All Stakeholders Conference can make far reaching changes to the draft. This then must never be left out in the national report. Pushing for the production of the national report at this stage is pushing for the publication of something incomplete.”
Zanu PF claims the draft ignored views expressed by members of the public which were captured in the national report. The party insists that its amendments are aimed at aligning the draft with the national report and wants the document made public claiming this would back its claims.
Mwonzora however, said Zanu PF officials were misreading the national report.
“Most well-meaning people in Zanu PF have been misled into believing that the figures appearing on the national statistical outreach report denote what the majority and minority views were,” he said.
“In other words where they see 70% or 30% (they think) it means that that is what 70% or 30% of the people said they wanted. Using that reasoning it becomes easy to tell what the majority view was on an item.
“Unfortunately, this is not what the figures mean. The figures appearing in the national statistical outreach report relate to frequencies. A frequency is defined as the number of meetings at which an issue was raised.
“It does not matter whether such a thing was raised by 500 people or by one person. Frequency therefore does not show to the number of people who said or supported a particular idea. A superior frequency does not therefore show that the majority of people supported the idea.