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constitution fully operational after swearing-in of Mugabe
Tichaona Sibanda, SW Radio Africa
August 23, 2013
View this article
on the SW Radio Africa website
became fully operational on Thursday following the swearing-in ceremony
of President Robert Mugabe in Harare.
The new charter,
which took almost four years to draft, will replace the peace-pact
constitution crafted in 1979 to end the bush war of the 1970’s.
The old constitution was amended 19 times to entrench Mugabe and
inauguration of Mugabe
for his 7th term in succession was the first time the Zanu-PF leader
took the oath of office under a constitution that limits his presidency
to two five years terms. He would be 99 years old at the end of
one of the chief architects of the constitution, told SW Radio Africa
that while some sections of the constitution went into force when
Mugabe signed it into law three months ago, the whole charter is
now in use.
changes, the constitution provides more rights for women, and it
increases the power of parliament.
are some clauses within the constitution that will only be operational
in seven or ten years’ time. The composition of the judges
who sit in the Constitutional Court will be revisited in 2020, while
the running mate issue will only be considered in 2023.
were compromises that came out of negotiations of the new constitution.
We simply could not see the collapse of the new constitution because
of Zanu-PF’s succession battles so we came to an understanding
that a President will choose his or her running mate in ten years’
time,’ Mwonzora said.
deputy Justice Minister, Obert Gutu from the MDC-T, said while Zanu-PF
enjoys now enjoys a two thirds majority in parliament, they would
find it difficult to amend some aspects of the constitution, even
if there are sections they don’t like.
the Bill of Rights cannot be amended through a parliamentary majority
and have to go to a referendum.
But Gutu said
there are other things they can do to effect change: ‘We have
a section like 59 of the constitution that stipulates that Zimbabweans
have the right to demonstrate if the demonstration is going to be
is where I see Zanu-PF tightening up legislation like POSA
to make it difficult for any dissenting voices to operate.’
Gutu, a lawyer
by profession, said he believed the ruling party will buttress the
already existing draconian laws, to safeguard their stay in power.
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