Draft constitution to be ready in April

Zimbabwe will have a fully completed draft constitution next month and a referendum in August or September, co-chairman of COPAC Douglas Mwonzora said on Monday.

Mwonzora
Mwonzora

The MDC-T MP for Nyanga North and party spokesman told SW Radio Africa that a technical team that was revising all chapters of the new constitution have completed their work in Bulawayo. The new charter has 18 chapters.

‘We have looked closely at what drafters have written and we are happy to note that the changes that we made are not really fundamental. They are not that many and therefore the drafters did a very good job. On Friday we are inviting the drafters to come and complete the revised work, Mwonzora said.

The three principal constitution-drafters are former High Court judge Justice Moses Chinhengo, Priscilla Madzonga and Brian Crozier. Mwonzora denied reports that principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) had given them a two-week ultimatum to complete the draft charter.

The state media reported last week that President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai were perturbed by the slow pace of the constitution-drafting process.

‘We never received anything like that,’ he said amid reports that South Africa dismissed a push by Mugabe for new polls without long-delayed reforms required by the country's unity deal.

Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Pretoria expects the power-sharing pact to be fully in place, with a new constitution approved by referendum, before new elections.

‘The GPA envisages that an election in Zimbabwe will only be held following the finalisation of the constitution-making process. A committee is drafting a new constitution, after which a referendum and then elections should be held. Our government therefore expects that there would be no deviation from the provisions of the GPA,’ Nkoana-Mashabane said. – SW Radio Africa News

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  1. Pythias Makonese

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