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  • President Mugabe's speech at the opening of the Fifth Session of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe in Harare
    President Robert Mugabe
    October 30, 2012

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    Madame President of the Senate,

    Mr. Speaker Sir,

    Honourable Members of Parliament,

    I welcome you all to the Fifth Session of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe, which draws us closer to the end of the Inclusive Government. Thus, the Session is likely to be an abridged one. I must, however, acknowledge that after faltering starts and stops, there has been some growing mutual collaboration and commendable efforts at togetherness, which are values we should continue to build upon. It is time we believe in our capacity to confront our challenges, without the mischievous external hand that always comes to distort the magnitude and nature of our challenges.

    The 2nd All Stakeholders Conference held on the 22nd to 23rd of this month was a significant event and marked one of the final stages in the current Constitution making process. By all accounts, the Conference was a major success as it provided a platform for Stakeholders to freely express their views and comments on the COPAC Draft Constitution so as to align the Draft to the views expressed during the Outreach programme conducted last year. Our expectation as Principals is that the next stage will proceed with haste so that this process is concluded expeditiously. The Select Committee of COPAC should work frantically to produce a Report of the Conference summarising the views expressed by the Stakeholders, in particular the divergent views, and submit the Report to the Principals in Government who will take the necessary steps to set up an appropriate mechanism to build the required consensus on the way forward, mindful always that our major objective remains the holding of the next Harmonised Elections in March, 2013 under a new Constitution.

    I take this opportunity to thank and commend the Select Committee of COPAC for spearheading the Constitution making process over the last three and half years. I also commend the Management Committee for giving guidance to the process. In terms of Article VI of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) the Constitution making process was to have taken 18 months to complete. Instead it has taken more than 3½ years to get us where we are now. Be that as it may, the fact that it has taken this long indicates that the process was indeed a difficult one. There is now the need for Government to assume the management of the process leading to the holding of the Referendum. Should the people express their affirmation of the Draft Constitution, then Parliament would be asked to pass it as the fundamental law of our country. Elections will then become a necessary sequel.

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