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COPAC disbanding

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BULAWAYO — The Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) is now winding down its activities following this week’s adoption of the country’s new charter in the national assembly.
Established in April 2009, COPAC was established by the inclusive government to spearhead the making of the new constitution.
COPAC was initially expected to complete its work within 18 months, but the process took four-and-half years to finalise due to internal bickering among partners in the inclusive government.With the Constitutional Bill receiving the thumbs up in the legislature this month, COPAC is now being disbanded.
Edward Mukhosi, COPAC’s co-chair, revealed this week that the committee had already parted ways with members of its secretariat since their contracts stipulated that their duties would end once the draft document had been sent to Parliament.
The parliamentary committee is now scheduled to meet its stakeholders next week to chart the way forward. On top of the agenda is likely to be the issue of debts owed to various service providers.
“Next week, there is going to be a meeting with our donors and caretakers on the next step that we need to take because currently we cannot disband the select committee without an internal audit as we still have monetary ties to other stakeholders as well as current and fixed assets still in COPAC’s possession,” said Mukhosi.
Government sources said an audit of COPAC’s assets and liabilities was critical. There are already fears that COPAC officials might help themselves to some of the committee’s assets, prejudicing the government in the process.
But Mukhosi downplayed the fears saying all fixed assets including the cars, would be handed to the Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs as these were government property.
Michael Mdladla, a political analyst, this week said the manner in which COPAC would be disbanded would reflect the levels of transparency for the next government.
“This disbanding of COPAC should now be the focus so that it starts highlighting a transparent and accountable government that is wanted by the people,” said Mdladla.
“Since all the parties in the inclusive government would be part of the process it is time that Zimbabweans shift focus to that process and watch closely how the select committee would be disbanded because that would determine the level of accountability for the next government.”
It is not only COPAC that would be disbanded as the unity government nears its end.
Other creations of the Global Political Agreement set to fall away include the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee as well as the Organ on National Healing, Reintegration and Reconciliation.