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making process in Zimbabwe: Avenues for effective youth participation
National Youth Development Trust
July 19, 2011
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Constitution of a nation is not simply a structure which mechanically
defines the structures of government and the relation between the
government and the governed, it is a "mirror of the national
soul", the identification of the ideals and aspirations of
a nation, the articulation of the values binding its people and
disciplining its government"- Ismael Mohammed
"..a super imposed constitutional formulae or constitutional
arrangements that . . . .do not address the real causes of the discontent,
are sure to generate their own legitimacy crisis."
A critical appreciation
of the constitution making process in Zimbabwe this far.
of the Constitution is undisputable as it is the central point of
all governance issues and one of the tenants of democratisation.
Constitutional democracy entails using the constitution as a supreme
and fundamental law to regulate and limit the powers of government
as well as to secure the efficacy of such limitations in actual
practice. Similarly, the Constitution ensures that the legitimacy
of the government is regularly established by requiring that its
powers are not assumed or exercised without the mandate of the people.
This end is achieved through periodic, regular, free and fair elections
that are administered by well defined electoral laws espoused in
a nation's constitution.
A good constitution
assures the protection of fundamental rights of a nation's
citizens, impartiality and independent conduct of the three arms
of state and above all the safety, security of citizens and the
rule of law. Therefore, the aim of any country is to achieve a constitutional
order that is legitimate, credible, enduring and structurally accepted
by its people without compromising the integrity and effectiveness
in general and Zimbabwe in particular has been facing challenges
in its quest to achieve constitutional order. Zimbabwe's current
was crafted in 1979 under the Lancaster House agreement and has
succumbed to a record of 19 Amendments to date. Attempts to craft
a new constitution in the year 2000 were rejected by the people
of Zimbabwe in a referendum. Various interlocking factors help to
explain the "no vote". Amongst them was the lack of wider
consultation with the responsible committee alleged to be purely
elitist (500 members comprising mostly MPs) and a perception that
it was a ZANU-PF attempt to smuggle a Constitution of its liking.
Thus the search for a viable, acceptable and a credible constitution
in Zimbabwe continues as evidenced by Constitutional
Amendment Number 19 which legalised the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) of 2008. Amongst other things, the
GPA stated the need for a people driven and people oriented constitution
in Zimbabwe . As such, since June 2010 the country has embarked
on a drive towards the constitution making process.
The stages that
have been implemented thus far are as follows:
- The Appointment
of the Constitution Select Committee
- All stakeholders
- Data uploading
- Sitting of
The stages that
remain are as follows:
- Second all
- Draft constitution
debate in Parliament
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