Diaspora To Be Consulted On New Constitution

COPAC National Coordinator, Peter Kunjeku, said US$97 000 had already been set aside for this process.There are an estimated five million Zimbabweans living in the diaspora, mostly in the United Kingdom, the United States of America (USA), South Africa, Botswana and Australia.

The Zimbabweans ran away for allegedly greener pastures and better lifestyles abroad.

“We have set aside US$97 000 to hire various consultants who will help us locate and deal with potential voters in the diaspora who are interested in participating in the constitution making process,” Kunjeku said.

“We have an inter-active  website which those in the diaspora can log onto and say what they want,” Kunjeku said. “This is a process or everyone and everyone will be allowed to participate in it.”

Kunjeku said US$6.9 million was already in the kitty at COPAC despite the dithering by some donors. Government has pledged US$4 million while various donors have set aside about US$14 million. Most of the funds are coming from the United Nations Development Programme.

Meanwhile Nango President, Dadirai Chikwengo, said she was very worried about the COPAC set up because it did not guarantee freedom of expression in Zimbabwe. She also said there was need to celebrate diversity.

She was referring to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) who have said the constitutional process is flawed and they will not participate in it.

“We are, however, also worried that politicians are taking over the process,” she said. “There are many threats to our members.”

She said some political parties were setting up bases and claiming that they are Information Centres.

“Zanu (PF) have bases and they say these are Information Centres,” she said. “We are very worried about this too.”