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New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
South Constitutional Conference
November 16, 2011
a chapter of Bulawayo Agenda that covers the Matabeleland South
Province, over the weekend held a leaders' conference on the
constitution making process to discuss the content benchmarks and
strategies of increasing citizen participation in the remaining
stages of constitution
making in Zimbabwe. 92 participants drawn from across the political
divide, business community and CSO leadership braved the hot weather
to attend the conference.
Hon. Edward Mkhosi, one of the Co-Chairpersons of the Constitutional
Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) was one of the key presenters at
the conference. In his presentation, he regretted that the constitution
making process is not moving because there is a lot of bickering
amongst political parties and COPAC members. He also highlighted
the danger of smuggling of information by ZANU PF into the drafting
stage. He further added that the national report is now out though
there are still some disagreements on the reports as they are fraught
with anomalies. He, however, said that there was some level of agreement
that a new constitution should be in place before any elections.
Discussions on devolution
of power, which is one of the most preferred content benchmarks
in the new constitution were led by Mr. Davis Luthe, who is the
CEO of Plumtree Town and governance scholar. Participants were challenged
to change their mindset of viewing devolution of power as a regional
agenda but see it as a national agenda.
Only two political parties,
MDC-T and MDC managed to send representatives to the conference
to state their party positions on the content of the constitution.
Participants however, felt the politicians did not say anything
new except to state populist declarations which are usually viewed
as campaign material. The politicians were then urged to be sincere
and consistent in their calls for certain content benchmarks which
are of concern to the citizens.
Below are some of the
- The conference resolved
that the government should facilitate healing and transitional
justice for Gukurahundi and other incidents of human rights abuses
- The calls
for Security Sector and legislative Reform e.g. total repealing
were reiterated to enable an environment for citizens' participation
in the constitution making process and other key national processes.
- Above all, participants
encouraged each other to keep on negotiating, building peace and
- Gwanda Agenda and
some organisations were tasked to develop more female leaders
so that they can be able to vie for public positions. This was
because there were no women speakers at the conference. Only two
women moderated sessions.
- Political parties
were urged to practice devolution of power in their own political
parties as they campaign for its inclusion in the new constitution.
- Bulawayo Agenda was
also tasked to take such platforms to grass root levels.
- The '11-11-11
(triple-11) Peace Charter' has to cascade down to political
structures and implementation.
- CSOs should push
for the publicity of provincial and/or district reports.
to grabbing of the opportunity to package within the new constitution
democratic values and effective and accountable institutions to
facilitate equitable development across the country.
1. Matabeleland North Constitutional Conference
Date: 19 November, 2011
Venue: Matshabalala Hall, Lupane
Theme: Regional perspectives on constitutional and electoral processes:
Towards enhancing information awareness and culture of engagement.
Presenters include Political and Civic leaders and experts and Participants
shall be drawn from Tsholotsho, Nkayi, Hwange, Victoria Falls, Lupane
and Binga. The conference shall seek to explore opportunities for
citizen participation and strategise on how to effectively influence
the process and outcome of the constitution making process. The
conference shall also serve as a platform for consolidation of the
province's content benchmarks in the new constitution and
prepare for the Second all-stakeholders Conference and Referendum.
2. Budget Review meeting
Bulawayo Agenda shall hold a meeting to review the national budget
once it has been presented by the Ministry responsible. The purpose
of the meeting shall be to review the budget allocations and policy
implications. Civic activists and economics experts are in the process
of being invited to attend. The organization shall then, from the
meeting, draw advocacy issues and produce, press statements, policy
briefs among other reactions.
NB. Exact dates and venue shall be publicised in due course.
Visit the Bulawayo
Agenda fact sheet
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