Don’t delay, WOZA urges COPAC

Women of Zimbabwe Arise has applauded the constitutional drafting team for the work they have done and encouraged them to deal swiftly with parked issues and submit the draft to the second stakeholder’s conference without further delay.

WOZA has continuously engaged its members to debate constitutional issues and in December 2010 released a report capturing the responses of members to the Constitutional Outreach questions to the 26 thematic areas. This followed a 15 month consultative and civic education process that captured the views of more than 10,000 urban and rural members aged 14-93, most of them women.

The group welcomed the following positive inclusions in the draft:

• Justiciable rights, including socio-economic rights

• Prohibition of discrimination against women on the basis of customary law

• A single executive head of state, eliminating the prime minister position

• A limit of two terms on the President

• Provision for proportional representation in the National Assembly and the Senate

• Independent Electoral Commission to take control of voter registration and the voters’ roll

• Down-grading the Attorney- General to legal advisor of the government and establishment of an independent prosecuting authority

• Appointments of key personnel and commissioners of independent commissions on the recommendation of a Parliamentary Public Appointments Committee, which will subject candidates to public interviews

• Requirements for all public officers to declare all their assets at regular intervals

• De-politicisation of the public service, judiciary, and security sector

• Amendment only by means of a referendum

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