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may have new constitution by 2011
have a new constitution by April 2011, constitutional and parliamentary
affairs minister Eric Matinenga has said.
from the general public submitted to him via kubatana.net,
a human rights and civic information project being run by an alliance
of NGOs, Matinenga said
there would be no room for the Kariba
draft constitution, which President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF
party wants to be the basis of the new law.
"I foresee, in
terms of time table, that by April 2011 we should have a constitution
that has passed through Parliament and has been adopted by Zimbabwe,"
Matinenga said the constitution-making
process had already reached an advanced stage and that by mid-May,
the outreach programme aimed at collecting people's views
on the new law would be rolled out countrywide.
Talking points for the
outreach programme have already been finalised by lawyers representing
the political parties that form the inclusive government.
"The outreach programme
will be rolled out, I believe, around the middle of May. It may
be towards the end of May, but I am confident that come mid-May
we will be able to roll it out," he said.
"After the outreach,
the draft constitution will then be crafted by the experts, and
I can assure you that it is not going to be the Matinenga draft.
Nor is it going to be the (Morgan) Tsvangirai or (Robert) Mugabe
or (Arthur) Mutambara draft.
It is going to be a draft
which is going to be crafted by experts who are going to be looking
at what you said during the outreach, and who will then gather what
you said into a draft Constitution...People's views will not
be tampered with."
He said after the first
draft, a second all-stakeholders conference would be held, after
which there would be a referendum, which would give people chance
to see whether what they said in the outreach was contained in the
draft and was what was being presented in the referendum.
Matinenga said the parties
would not adopt the Kariba draft as a basis for the new law.
The Kariba draft constitution
has now been opposed by Prime Minister Tsvangirai's MDC party
despite the party appending its signature to it in September 2007.
Experts say that Kariba
draft entrenches the executive powers of the President and leaves
President Mugabe's powers intact.
"People must not
fear. They must not be taken in when people say the Kariba draft
will determine the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Let me assure people
that there is no special place for the Kariba draft in the Constitution
What we have agreed as
the three political parties is that the outreach team should be
gathering information on the basis of talking points...nobody is
going to be waving the Kariba draft, nor any other draft for that
matter, in the outreach meetings," Matinenga said.
The Kariba draft was
produced and signed by ZANU-PF and the MDC in 2007 during talks
under the auspices of former South African president Thabo Mbeki.
The writing of the new
constitution is the key pre-occupation of the transitional inclusive
government, which is supposed to provide grounds for democratic
elections, expected sometime in 2011.
According to the global
political agreement that established the inclusive government, the
new constitution was supposed to be ready within 18 months of the
formation of the inclusive government. The process, however, is
lagging behind the time-table because of funding problems.
The new constitution
is supposed to be the basis of fresh elections after the inclusive
government's term expires in 18 to 36 months from the date
of inception on February 13, 2009.
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