The as yet unpaid debt was incurred when Copac conducted training workshops for the outreach teams without any budgets. Copac also conducted another training workshop, without funds, for teams that were fine tuning talking points that will be used as a guideline for capturing views from members of the public.
As a result of the unbudgeted workshops Copac incurred a debt of US $ 900 000 that was used to accommodate and feed the outreach teams.
However the three Copac co-chairpersons, Douglas Mwonzora, Paul Munyaradzi Mangwana and Believe Gaule, standing in for Edward Mkhosi, who met with journalists in Bulawayo on Monday said the debt would now be taken over by the Ministry of Finance.
“Copac incurred the huge debt in the training of teams that were working on the talking points and those that will be working on the outreach programme and the debt we incurred is around US $ 900 000 but the Ministry of Finance has taken over the debt and they are in the process of paying those that we owe,”Copac co-chairperson, Paul Munyaradzi Mangwana said.
He however could not say how much each workshop chewed but said the US $ 900 000 debt covered the two workshops that were held in January and February respectively.
“We had no money when we started the process and we were in the red as a result of that but the Ministry of Finance has now taken over the debt and will pay whoever we owe money,”he said.
The country’s constitution making process is already behind schedule and any more delays will further derail the fragile process. The constitutional outreach team is expected to start going round the country to get people’s views on June 15.
Zimbabwe’s constitution making process needs over US $ 18 million, but donors have so far released close to US $ 8 million.