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Copac adopts changes to first draft
Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe)
March 18, 2012
this article on the Sunday Mail website
The full Constitution
Select Committee (Copac) has adopted changes to the first draft
of the proposed new constitution, drawing the country closer to
of the crafting of the supreme law.
Cde Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana told The Sunday Mail that the 25-member
panel met in Harare last Wednesday and agreed to all clauses under
the refined version of the draft.
said only two outstanding areas around the separation of powers
would be tabled before the management committee tomorrow. The management
committee, comprising negotiators to the Global
Political Agreement, the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary
Affairs, Advocate Eric Matinenga and the three Copac co-chairs is
expected to resolve the sticking points after which the document
will be presented to the inclusive
Government principals for scrutiny.
went through all the revisions that were done by the co-chairs and
adopted them," said Cde Mangwana. "More than 50 percent
of the contents of the initial draft were revised. It was necessary
for us to revise the document to ensure it is in line with what
the people said and what we want. This is normal procedure. "The
management committee will meet on Monday (tomorrow). We will present
a progress report and expect to resolve the two issues during this
would not be drawn into divulging the revised clauses, but a copy
of the refined draft shows that a new provision seeks to compel
the State to take "reasonable measures" to ensure no
one gender has more than 50 percent representation in all Constitutional,
State and Government institutions. Chapter 2 of the draft provides
for the State to ensure everyone of marriageable age is free to
marry "another person of the opposite sex".
the new draft engenders all Zimbabweans to defend the sovereignty
of the country. It also states that anyone born outside the country
is a Zimbabwean by descent if either his or her parents or grandparents
were Zimbabweans. In the first draft, this provision dealt with
citizenship by birth and registration, but was expanded to include
citizenship by descent.
It is understood
work was underway last week to address dual citizenship and the
restoration of citizenship. Regarding property rights, the draft
seeks to vest all agricultural land acquired under the Land Reform
Programme in the State. Only compensation for improvements made
to the property will be contested and not the land acquisition itself.
(but who are not defined in the draft) would also be protected from
the compulsory acquisition of their agricultural land if the draft
eventually becomes law.
also proposes a land commission that would carry out periodic land
audits, enforce the one person-one farm principle and resolve land
disputes. The contentious clause around the tenure of the President
was also revised to a two-term limit for an incumbent who serves
under the new constitution. Furthermore, the draft seeks to empower
the Senate, sitting as a court at the request of two-thirds of the
members of the House
of Assembly, to impeach and remove the President
from office for, among other reasons, failing to defend the supreme
law. It also empowers Parliament to approve the appointment of the
Attorney-General and other senior public officials. It also proposes
the setting up of a Constitutional Court that will, among other
functions, determine whether an Act of Parliament or the conduct
of the President is constitutional.
View some of
the changes in the revised draft here
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