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Financial Crunch Threatens constitution-making

THE constitution-making outreach programme is likely to be delayed by more than two weeks due to financial constraints and bickering over the role of government departments in the process.

A Zanu PF legislator, working closely with the Constitution Parliament Committee (Copac), told the Zimbabwe Independent yesterday that currently there was no adequate funding for the outreach programme, which was supposed to start immediately after the training workshop.

Members of the teams were supposed to be put into groups and allocated areas that they would cover at the end of the workshop on Wednesday but were told to wait until end of next week for the notification.

The legislator, who asked not to be named, said Copac was still to import computers and recorders from South Africa and that process, if funds were made available would take at least two weeks.

He said they also needed fuel for the 300 vehicles that would be used by outreach teams and money for allowances.

The committee, the legislator said, only managed to secure funding for the media campaigns this week from the United Nations Development Programme.

“A team met UNDP yesterday (Wednesday) seeking funding for the outreach programme. UNDP said they would assist with funds for the media campaigns,” he said.

But the problem was that there was no money for the outreach teams to be sent out.

“Giving that timetable was just politicking because we didn’t have funds. I think we will have to wait for about two weeks before teams are sent out.”

“The legislator said the issue of whether to use civil servants as rapporteurs is still contentious and might have to be brought before the three principals, President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Professor Arthur Mutambara for determination. “We have a teething problem, of who should be the rapporteurs. We (Zanu PF) are saying   let’s use civil servants but the MDC is opposed to this saying that they are Zanu PF and they want us to employ Ordinary Level or Advanced Level or college graduates to be rapporteurs. We are saying those are too young and don’t understand the process,” he said.


Faith Zaba

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