Constitution drafters get to work

The actual drafting of a new Zimbabwe Constitution kicked off on Monday, with the team of drafters poised to complete the exercise in 35 days.

Douglas Mwonzora
Douglas Mwonzora

Douglas Mwonzora, co-chair of the Select Committee driving the Constitution-making process, told a news conference the drafters had been briefed on their terms of reference and were putting views gathered countrywide into the new governance charter.

"The three principal drafters, Justice Moses Chinhengo, Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crozier got their brief and terms of reference from Copac on the 28th of November to begin their work on December 5," Mwonzora said. "They will also be working in close consultation with the Select Committee and 17 technical experts. The much awaited drafting process will take at least 35 days from the date of commencement."

Zimbabweans hope a new charter, replacing the much-amended constitution inked in London in 1979 that has been amended 19 times and barely resembles the original, will strengthen the role of parliament and curtail the president's powers. They also hope it will guarantee civil liberties and political and media freedom.

One of the members of the committee who is spearheading the drafting of the constitution said the days of the "all-powerful president" were over.

The constitution-making-process, like the establishment of the inclusive government, has been characterised by delays, frustrations and lack of communication.

When Zimbabwe started down the path of creating a new constitution just after formation of an inclusive government in February 2009, the whole country was geared up and excited, but the momentum has been lost. After public consultation that enabled the people to debate the proposals and feed their opinions back, the success or failure of the new Constitution depends on the politicians agreeing to move the country forward, even if it means clipping their own wings.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *