Articles

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition analysis of the recently ended Second All Stakeholders' Conference, based on the 9 Civil Society Key Imperatives for Success Introduction

In May 2012, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Reform (COPAC) announced that the drafting process of a New Constitution for Zimbabwe had been completed, and submitted a draft to the Management Committee of the process for scrutiny and endorsement. 2 months later, following disagreements between parties in COPAC on content issues, it was announced on July 18 2012, that a draft had finally been 'negotiated and agreed'. The Announcement was supposed to set the stage for the convening by COPAC of a 2nd All Stakeholders Conference. But it did not, because what transpired immediately after that were 2 statements of endorsement of the draft by 2 out of the 3 parties in the Inclusive Government, with the remaining one, initially saying it agreed with 97% of the draft but had issues with 3%, then it declared that the 3% it differed with were THE HEART OF THE CONSTITUTION, SO THE REST OF THE BODY 97% DID NOT MATTER.

Eventually that Party ZANU PF submitted a redraft of the COPAC Draft of 18 July 2012, with an estimated 266 amendments, which the other 2 parties refused to accept. President Jacob Zuma was called in to mediate, and flew into the country on his way to the SADC Summit in Maputo, where it was eventually agreed that the parties had to finish the process and if they needed help the facilitator would be on hand. The debates continued, and were subject to a discussion at a SADC Troika Summit, where it was unofficially stated that if there continued to be a deadlock, the issue would be discussed in Tanzania at a SADC Troika meeting on the 7th and 8th of October 2012. However before this could happen on the 24th of September, ZANU PF through its Spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, conceded to going to the 2nd All Stakeholders Conference with the draft of the 18th of July 2012, on condition that the National Report would be tabled.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition on the 26th of September put out an article entitled "The 2nd All Stakeholders Conference: 9 imperatives for Success, € in which it lobbied with COPAC, Political parties and sought buy-in from other Civil Society Organisations. Before the 2nd All Stakeholders Conference, COPAC went public with the notion that they had conceded to 7 of the 9 imperatives. Now that the Conference has passed, The Coalition assesses it and processes allied to it based on the 9 imperatives.

 


Imperative

Key Indicators

What actually transpired

Score out of 10

Clear time frames

- Timely release of the date of the 2nd All Stakeholders Conference

- Timely release of times frames and dates of key process around the Second All Stakeholders' Conference.

- The emersion of the dates of the 2nd ASC, as part of a broader electoral time table including the referendum and elections.

- Time lags between Completion of the Drafting process and the 2nd ASC,

- Given disputes to the draft, time lag between resolution of disputes and announcements of key timeframes around the 2nd ASC.

-Ample time was given for delegates to prepare of the conference despite the changes in dates that could have brewed confusion

-However the setting of dates for the conference were a political party affair since no consultations were made with other stakeholders beyond political parties

-However the key players in the GPA and the conference did not formulate clear time frames for neither the referendum nor the elections

-The Conference ended without clarity in terms of timeframes for the next steps that will be taken to finalise the constitution making process.

7/10

An inclusive dialogue on how to have a truly transparent and beneficial process

- COPAC engages with a variety of stakeholders on the 2nd ASC (Political Parties, Churches, NGO's Business, Social Movements and Communities etc.) with regards to the 2nd ASC, ahead of the 2nd ASC.

- COPAC regularly shares information regarding the 2nd ASC through the media, meetings and other engagements.

-COPAC attempted its best consult stakeholders including civil society and churches, although it seems in the end their preferences prevailed of the majority of sticky issues

COPAC issued statements in the main newspapers with information regarding the 2nd All Stakeholders' Conference and their availing of the National Statistical Report online.

7/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Real Commitment to Civic Society Participation

- COPAC honors the 70:30 ratio between participants from Civil Society and those from Political Society.

- COPAC allows stakeholders to choose their own delegates and not political parties.

-In principle delegates to the Conference were invited on political party lines at the end of the day.

-Civil society seats were parcelled out along political party lines with political parties inviting their own so called "civil society €

-COPAC did not make available the final list of all civil society delegates hence the fear that political party activists could have been smuggled in as "civil society € at the expense of genuine civil society representatives

-Only 150 delegates from NANGO and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition under the banner of the Civil Society Mechanism on Constitutional Reform were accredited.

-COPAC did not do enough to ensure independent civil society participation and for civil society to choose their won delegates

5/10

Agenda setting by The Broad Sector of stakeholders

- Stakeholder representatives input into the agenda and modus operandi for the 2nd ASC.

-COPAC refused input from other stakeholders on the basis that the Agenda is clear in the GPA

-No consultations were made with Stakeholders towards inputting into the agenda.

-MDC-N claims they had no say in agenda setting and cite Professor Welshman Ncube's absence from the list of principals to address the conference as evidence that they were not in control of the agenda.

6/10

Popularising the COPAC Draft of 18 July 2012

- COPAC makes the Draft of 18 July readily available to all and in forms and languages that every citizen of Zimbabwe can access.

-The Copac draft was availed to delegates a day before the conference. Accompanying documents were only availed on the day of the conference.

Delegates had limited time to analyse and were debating the draft with understanding.

The majority of Zimbabweans are not familiar with it and its contents. No sufficient steps were taken to popularize the draft except for uploading The Draft on the internet a week before the Conference. This is not enough given the low internet penetration levels in the country which have been reported to be around 11%. Worse still up to now the draft has not been made accessible in indigenous languages as promised by COPAC.

5/10

NO Violence

- COPAC puts in place Measures to ensure that no violence would take place at the conference and that if it occurs it will not be tolerated through non-partisan policing.

-COPAC holds a relatively Violent free Conference.

The conference was generally peaceful passed off without incidents of violence though near fist fights and incidences of intimidation and harassment were reported at some of the thematic committees that met on the first day. The calls for peace by the Principals in the inclusive government and the deployment of the police also contributed to peace.

9/10

Commitment to tolerance, patience and progressive debate

- COPAC emphasises tolerance of divergent views,

- no delegates are victimised for their views

- COPAC protects speakers and delegates and their rights to hold opinions, even differing ones.

The environment was tolerant to divergent views.

No delegates were victimised for their views

Speakers' rights to hold differing opinions were protected.

7/10

Unfettered Media Access to the Event

- Local and international media are allowed to cover the event without any hindrance.

There was unfettered media access as local and international media houses were accredited and performed their duties without hindrance

8/10

Observation of the 2nd ASC

- SADC and the AU are allowed to monitor the event.

- Local Civil Society groups are allowed to Observe the conference

- International actors, interested are allowed to observe the event

Representatives of diplomatic missions in Zimbabwe observed the process.

10 representatives from civil society organisations observed the process

The SADC facilitation team also observed the process.

However known supporters of political parties were also accredited as observers

8/10

TOTAL SCORE

The peaceful conduct of the Conference is commendable. However agenda setting could have been more inclusive.

62/90

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Contact US

#329 Samora Machel Avenue
Eastlea
Harare
Zimbabwe

Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mobile:
+263 772 887 506 ,
+263 772 407 742
+263 772 471 669