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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles


  • Constitutional update
    Bulawayo Agenda
    August 13, 2010

    Matabeleland North

    Attendance - The Copac outreach teams have covered about 75% of Lupane where community members have been attending in large numbers. Yesterday, outreach meetings were held in Lupaka and Ndimimbili with a remarkable attendance by both men and women. Mobilisation has improved and cases of intimidation have dropped.

    Systems of government - The concept of devolution of power has been very popular in the Mat. North region and has not been any different in Lupaka and Ndimimbili as people expressed great need for elected provincial governments, which will ensure fair, transparent and accountable distribution of resources in the province as compared to the central governance system.

    Arms of State - Lupaka and Ndimimbili community members said that they prefer a people voted-for president who has won through a first past the post system. They said that they do not want a prime minister and ministers should be appointed according to their educational qualification. They said that MPs must not be appointed as ministers so that there is accountability.

    Electoral Systems - Communities in Ndimimbili and Lupaka have said that election results must be released immediately after an election has been conducted and power should be handed over immediately.

    Women - They proved to be knowledgeable on issues that affect them and were most vocal on having equal rights as their male counterparts in order to develop and contribute in nation building.

    Manicaland

    The outreach process in Manicaland has been very inconsistent as the teams are reported to be loitering around towns without going to their respective areas because of confusion that has marred the process in the province. Although some meetings were organised, there has been poor attendance by the communities as reports say that people have lost the zeal and trust in the constitution making process.

    Some reports say that the most affected area is Marange, where meetings are cancelled due to controversy and clashes between the community and the CIO. It is said that Central Intelligence Officers are making it difficult for people to convene for the meetings as they seem to confuse them with monitors for the Kimberly Process.

    Matabeleland South

    Attendance - Mpisi community members in Matabeleland South attended the meeting in large numbers yesterday to input into the making of the new constitution.

    Bill of Rights - Prominent in the meeting was the demand for the freedom of association, movement, speech and the right to education, health, shelter and food for the people. People said that the government must be accountable for the welfare of its people unlike in the previous years where citizens had to fend for themselves.

    Citizenship - There is a remarkable demand to have dual citizenship as most of the people in Mpisi are based in the neighbouring countries and want to be allowed to live in both countries without any reparations.

    Land - Community members said that they want traditional leaders to be able to share land and determine who gets access to land in the area. They said that 25% of the profits acquired from sales and businesses in Mpisi must be used to develop that area instead of being taken to other regions.

    Midlands

    Attendance - The Midlands outreach teams are conducting a mop-up exercise in Mberengwa this week. One of the teams is trying to convene meetings in areas where meetings were either abandoned or not well organized. They are expected to be proceeding to Silobela in the next couple of days. A meeting in the area yesterday had an average of 120 people.

    Systems of Government - Debate continued around the suitability of either the unitary system of government or a more devolved system of government though there was unanimity that there is need for fiscal autonomy to enable communities to chart their own development priorities.

    Citizenship - There is massive support for dual citizenship so as to enable exiles to fully remit their earnings while working abroad. It was also said that the current system has robbed the country of some of its most prominent sportspersons who opt to be citizens of better playing nations.

    Traditional Leaders - There is almost equal sentiment between those who want traditional leaders to have seats reserved for them in Parliament and those who would like them to have purely traditional roles and moderate judicial powers to preside over cases in their localities. Others have also said that all chiefs should be accorded state-assisted burials when they pass on.

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