copac co chairs 25.10.10.jpgSharp differences over the inclusion of war veterans’ issues under the Bill of Rights have emerged amongst the three political parties in the Constitution Select Committee, with Zanu PF maintaining that freedom fighters deserve recognition and acknowledgement in the supreme law of the land, while the MDC formations are refusing.

Sources close to the on-goings at COPAC say there was heated debate on the issue of war veterans as the other two MDC formations were against the inclusion of their rights under the banner of the Bill of Rights.

Zanu PF has been very clear that the war veterans played a critical role in the liberation of Zimbabwe and not including their rights is tantamount to stripping them of their history which is relevant to Zimbabwe.

Copac Co-chairperson, Cde Paul Mangwana said indeed there are sharp differences, but Zanu PF’s position is very clear on the matter that war veterans are key stakeholders and should be included in the Bill of Rights.

Another COPAC Co-chairperson, Mr. Douglas Mwonzora and Mr. Edward Mukosi says they are of a different view as they feel they should have their own chapter and should not be included under the Bill of Rights.

Analysts are of the opinion that if the war veterans and privileges are not placed under the Bill of Rights, Zimbabwe will fall into the trap of the West which refer to them as terrorists and not freedom fighters.

Meanwhile, COPAC has refuted allegations that draft proposals of the constitution stipulate that anyone above 70 years is not eligible for presidency, saying only four chapters have been reviewed and the media is peddling falsehoods which cannot be confirmed.

In other countries such as Canada, the fighters from the Second World War between 1939 and 1945 have access to health, loans and other essential services.

The constitution making process has been stalled by sharp differences in fundamental areas such as the land issue, the death penalty and the issue of dual or mono citizenship.