Parly will not override majority: Matinenga

Parliament will not override the contributions made by Zimbabweans on what they want included in the new constitution, Constitution and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga has said.

Eric Matinenga
Eric Matinenga

The draft constitution will be debated in the August house, before being put forward to a referendum. Speaking at the Midlands provincial constitution advocacy meeting here, Matinenga said parliamentarians would exercise restraint when the draft document was brought before them.

“According to the laws, the draft constitution will be forwarded to parliament for debate before the nation endorses or rejects it on the referendum.

A few things might be added or withdrawn to make the submissions made during Copac’s outreach in line with constitutional law. However, most of the contributions will still be retained,” Matinenga said.

He allayed fears that the parliamentarians would subvert the will of the majority in order to suit their political agendas.

“The constitution will be used by generations to come and so it will be a blunder for a political party to try and make it suit its present interests. Parties come and go, but the constitution remains, so no politician will want to politicise the forthcoming constitution,” Matinenga said.

The expected document is currently at the drafting stage by three constitutional law experts: Justice Moses Chinengo, Priscila Madzonga and Brian Crozier. The referendum is expected in March next year, after which the country will hold an election.

Matinenga warned the nation against rejecting the draft document saying such an act would force the country to revert to the discredited Lancaster House constitution which has been amended 19 times.

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