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names 25-member constitution making task team
Nokuthula Sibanda, ZimOnline
April 13, 2009
of Parliament on Sunday announced a 25-member committee drawn from
both ZANU PF and the two formations of the MDC which will oversee
the drafting of the country's new constitution, but appealed for
funding for the process to be a success.
drawn from President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara's faction of the MDC is
expected to start work immediately.
The 25 members
of the committee are, from ZANU PF Flora Bhuka, Walter Chidakwa,
Chindori Chininga, Joram Gumbo, Paul Mangwana, Martin Khumalo, Tambudzai
Mohadi, Olivia Muchena, Monica Mutsvangwa and Thokozile Mathuthu;
from MDC-T is Amos Chibaya, Gladys Gombani Dube, Ian Kay, Cephas
Makuyana, Evelyn Masaiti, Editor Matamisa, Douglas Mwonzora, Jabulani
Ndlovu, Brian Tshuma, Gift Chimanikire and Jessei Majome; then David
Coltart, Dalumazi Khumalo and Edward Tshotsho Mkhosi (from MDC-M);
and Fortune Charumbira (President of the Chiefs Council).
Speaker of the
House Lovermore Moyo said the select committee will drive the writing
of the new constitution for the country in the next 18 months as
outlined under the global
political agreement (GPA) the parties signed last year.
making process will require substantial financial and human resources,"
Moyo said at press conference in Parliament.
call upon all progressive forces to join hands with us in ensuring
that the process brings tangible results that we can all be proud
historic inter-party political agreement places the responsibility
of leading the constitution making process on the Parliament and
more importantly, provides an opportunity for the country to create
a constitution by the people for the people."
He said a constitution
was a living and sacred document that "we should all be proud
The draft constitution
must be introduced in Parliament by October next year.
of the 2000 referendum that rejected a government-driven draft constitution,
pointed out that Parliament needed to be diligent so that the constitution
making process is a success.
because making a new constitution for Zimbabwe, not for the present,
but for posterity, is the major deliverable expected from the seventh
parliament which we cannot be found wanting."
He said apart
from lawmakers, members tasked with the drafting of the new constitution
will be drawn from business, students, rights groups, churches,
media, women's groups, labour and farmers among others.
of new constitution is expected to lead to free and fair elections
once the supreme law is signed into law by the president.
Article 6 of the GPA, a parliamentary select committee will be composed
of legislators and representatives of civil society, but the committee
will have a final say in the drafting of the proposed constitution.
states that the select committee should be in place two months after
the formation of the inclusive government and should convene an
"all-stakeholders" conference within three months after
its appointment. The inclusive government was formed on February
The public consultation
process, the pact reads, should be completed no later than four
months after the stakeholders' conference and referendum shall
be held to allow Zimbabweans to have final say on the draft constitution.
In the event
that the draft is approved in a referendum, it shall be gazetted
within a month of the date of the plebiscite and would be introduced
in parliament not later than a month after the expiration of a period
of 30 days from the date of gazetting.
currently governed under the 1979 constitution agreed at the Lancaster
House talks in London. The constitution has been amended 19 times
since the country's Independence in 1980.
An attempt to
introduce a new constitution between 1999 and 2000 failed after
the NCA and
other civil society organisations, backed by a nascent MDC, successfully
campaigned against a government-sponsored draft.
NCA chair Lovemore
Madhuku has promised to oppose an new draft penned by political
parties without direct input from the public.
must write their own constitution directly, not through politicians,
parliamentarians or government. The surest way to make sure that
a constitution is respected is if it is written by the people themselves
and carries their word," Madhuku said after the signing of
the GPA on September 15 2008.
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