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New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
can also discuss new constitution
The parliamentary committee
in charge of reviewing Zimbabwe's constitution is actively inviting
feedback and recommendations from the millions of Zimbabweans living
"Our resources could
not permit us to travel all over the world to solicit the views
of Zimbabweans on the contents of the draft constitution; this meant
that we could only conduct outreach programmes in Zimbabwe,"
a co-chair of the Select Committee of Parliament on the New Constitution,
Edward Mkhosi, told IRIN.
"The launching of
a website is a wonderful opportunity for Zimbabweans all over the
world to contribute on how they want their country to be governed,"
said Mkhosi, who represents a smaller formation of the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Arthur Mutambara.
The other co-chair, Douglas
Mwonzora, representing the main MDC faction led by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, told IRIN that some 4.2 million Zimbabweans,
of a total 13 million, were living abroad.
"That is quite a
significant part of the population which would need to be consulted,
as they may have issues that are relevant to them - some of the
issues that could be peculiar to them may have to do with dual citizenship
and the right to vote," he said.
Under existing Zimbabwean
laws dual citizenship is not allowed, and only diplomatic staff
and armed forces stationed abroad are allowed to participate in
national elections while they are out of the country.
A new constitution
is one of the requirements stipulated by the Global
Political Agreement, signed in September 2008 between Zimbabwe's
three main political parties.
The outreach programmes
to find out what people would like to see included in a proposed
new constitution have covered urban and rural areas throughout Zimbabwe,
but millions of others living abroad have not yet been given a chance
to participate in the consultative process.
Paul Mangwana, representing
President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, commented that "the
website was designed primarily for Zimbabweans in the diaspora ...
they should be able to say what kind of country they want to come
Estimates of the number
of Zimbabweans living abroad range between 3 million and 5 million,
and their remittances are widely credited for softening the impact
of the country's economic collapse.
Admore Tshuma, a Zimbabwean
journalist based in the United Kingdom, welcomed the decision to
include expatriates "because it is the same diaspora who, during
the height of near economic collapse of Zimbabwe, chipped in and
re-oiled the wheels of Zimbabwe's economy".
around the world can join the discussion here: www.copac.org.zw
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