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COPAC summary of draft Constitution
Zimbabwe Constitution Select Committee (COPAC)
February 22, 2013

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The Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) has produced this Summary of The Final Draft Constitution of Zimbabwe 2013 to assist the public understand the contents of the Draft. The Draft is 172 pages long. COPAC considered that it will be easier for a person who may have no time to read the whole Draft, to read only this summary and obtain an appreciation of the contents of the Draft.

The Summary does not contain all the details in the Draft but only information on the main provisions to enable the reader to make an informed decision.

The Preamble

The preamble expresses and acknowledges colonial injustices, honours the sacrifices of the men and women who fought to overcome the injustices. It also looks to the future with a resolve to live in a democratic society based on the rule of law, hard work, respect for and enjoyment of the fundamental human rights and freedoms, unity, our natural resources and attain prosperity for all citizens.

Chapter 1

Founding Provisions (sections 1-7)

Zimbabwe is founded on the following values and principles:

Zimbabwe is a unitary, democratic and sovereign republic;

  • the Constitution is its supreme law and any law, practice custom or conduct inconsistent with the Constitution is invalid;
  • the Constitution binds everyone, including juristic persons, the State, all executive, legislative and judicial institutions and all agencies of government;
  • supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law, human rights, the nation's religious and cultural diversity, the inherent dignity of every person, equality of all; gender equality, and respect for the liberation struggle;
  • Good governance which includes:
    • a multi-party political system;
    • an electoral system which ensures the holding of free and fair elections regularly;
    • the orderly transfer of political power after an election;
    • separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial arms of the State;
    • respect for the people;
    • the fostering of national unity and peace;
    • recognition of the rights of minority groups;
    • fair sharing of national resources;
  • devolution and decentralisation of governmental power;
  • a national flag,a national anthem, a coat of arms and a public seal;
  • three tiers of government, namely, National government, Provincial Councils and Local Authorities;
  • official recognition of all the major spoken languages, which are Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa
  • promotion of public awareness of the Constitution.

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