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New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
An analysis of the working draft constitution/COPAC process - ZESN
Election Support Network
June 27, 2012
ZESN held a
public meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the 26th of June 2012
with the topic: An Analysis of the Working Draft Constitution/COPAC
process. They were four speakers representing the academia, civil
society and women namely Dr. Charity Manyeruke, Dr. Alex Magaisa,
Ms. Emilia Muchawa and Professor Lovemore Madhuku.
The major highlights
were as follows:
- Dr. Charity
Manyeruke highlighted that there is need to give up individual
rights as the current constitution
making process is engulfed with self interest of individuals,
political parties and interest groups. She further stated that
Constitutions are not written by the people but by those who wield
power; the politicians. On devolution she commented that Devolution
is a policy issue and therefore cannot be enshrined in the Constitution.
She dismissed dual citizenship stating that economic benefits
from those in the Diaspora are paltry.
- Dr. Alex
Magaisa said that Zimbabwe will rightly develop its new constitution
informed by the past, present and future aspirations of its people.
He highlighted four key improved areas in the Working Draft
Constitution such as the Bill of Rights, Citizenship, Separation
of Powers and Elections. He reiterated that it was premature to
say the process is flawed, as the contents of the official draft
are yet to be published, "let it be judged when it comes
out" said Dr. Magaisa. He also saw a great need to deconstruct
the contentious issue on Devolution which he regarded as an issue
that has been misinterpreted to mean cession. Unlike Dr. Manyeruke
he argued that devolution would be good for Zimbabwe.
- Ms. Emilia
Muchawa highlighted that the Constitution
of Zimbabwe which was adopted as part of the 1979 Lancaster House
Agreement was a document which offers little opportunity for women.
She applauded the working draft as she said after carrying out
a Gender Audit of the Working Draft Constitution it can be safely
said that 75% of women's concerns had been included. However,
she said that women felt that more could be done as there is no
mention of gender parity in critical areas such as the security
service and the judiciary. The women of Zimbabwe are demanding
a constitution that guarantees more women in decision making positions
through adoption of mechanisms such as a constitutional quota.
Madhuku maintained the NCA
position that they would mobilize people for a NO vote to the
new constitution as it believes that it is the outcome of the
three political parties and is not driven by the people. He said
that the political parties are in control of the process. He envisaged
a scenario whereby the GPA
principals might adopt the constitution without subjecting the
draft to a Constitutional Referendum. He urged people to judge
the COPAC draft on both the process and the content.
- COPAC was
urged to intensify their dissemination of information on the process
as the public is not aware of progress with the draft constitution.
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