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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles


  • Constitutional update
    Bulawayo Agenda
    September 09, 2010

    Matabeleland North

    Attendance - The teams are in Bulilima this week and team 1 was in an area called Makumbe yesterday. There were just over 100 people at the meeting in ward 7.

    Systems of government - Devolution remains very popular in this part of the country to the extent that villagers almost called for federalism if the concept of devolution was not properly explained.

    Electoral systems - People do not understand the implications of a hybrid system and they are unsure at what point first-past-the-post is used and when proportional representation is used.

    Citizenship - Dual citizenship got a resounding applause so as to enable exiles to contribute to the food security in the nation.

    Traditional leaders - The people want strong traditional institutions and for their local traditional leaders to preside over land distribution.

    Matabeleland North

    Attendance - The teams began in Bubi district yesterday and team 6 did two meetings in Ward 3, Village 6 in Woza Woza and another Ward 3, Mbembeswana. The Woza Woza meeting had close to 70 people while the Mbembeswana meeting had close to 200 people.

    Independent Commissions - The people only mentioned the electoral commission and did not seem to have a clue on the rest.

    Systems of government - In Woza Woza, the call for Devolution was unanimous and so was the case in Mbembeswana.

    War veterans - The participants in most of the meetings unanimously agreed that the new constitution should not recognise the importance of war veterans. The participants argued that war veterans in Zimbabwe had been compensated enough and there is need for the war veteran's pension fund to come to an end. However, some said that it is the state's duty to look out for those war vets who have not come forward and compensate them.

    Public Finance - People do not know what aspects of public finance they would like to be controlled by the constitution.

    Provinces and Local Authorities - The people want local authorities to promote local issues and forward their grievances to the national authorities.

    Provinces - The majority of people want 14 provinces

    Arms of State - The majority of people want both the Prime Minister and President to govern though with clearly distinct duties and powers. The people want these to be elected. The people also want Ministers to be selected from both MPs and outside Parliament.

    Houses of Parliament - The people want both Houses of Parliament to be maintained. People do not want MPs to cross floors to another party with their seats.

    Special Interest Groups in Parliament - People do not understand what special interest groups are and they don't want them to have Parliamentary seats reserved for them.

    Midlands

    Attendance - Reports say that attendance to COPAC meetings has been high despite the notable bussing of people which has been realised and dealt with in some instances. Soldiers in civilian clothes were allegedly seen in Gokwe South in most of the meetings where some participants identified them as outsiders.

    Transitional mechanisms - Participants called for the respect of electoral result which will assist in the transitional period after an election. Suggested periods for transition ranged from 21- 90 days.

    Independent Public Offices - There was a strong demand for Registrar General's office, Auditor General, and Attorney General's office to be independent of politics. They said that if there is need to appoint any of these officials, it must be done by Parliament or in consultation with other members of the Government.

    Executive - In Kasuwe, Nemangwe and Chiveya it is said that people wanted an executive Prime Minister with a president who has fewer powers. They also said that the cabinet must be appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the presidium. They emphasised that there should be transparency in the functioning of government.

    Systems of Government - Devolution of power was voted as the desired system that will benefit the people in the Midlands.

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