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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Statement on the Constitutional Reform Process
    Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD)
    June 02, 2009

    The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD), being a socio-economic justice coalition established to facilitate citizens' involvement in making public policy pro-people and sustainable hereby articulates its position on current efforts to reform the Zimbabwean constitution. This statement is the result of an internal consultative process which included a survey, and a subsequent feedback meeting held in Harare on 28 May 2009.

    Concerned over Zimbabwe's economic crisis characterised by an unsustainably high level of public debt, and imminent threat of an increased external debt stock.

    Noting past instances of disregard for citizens' social and economic rights enshrined in international protocols to which Zimbabwe is signatory, in particular the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights,

    Noting obstacles to the realisation of these rights placed by the existing requirement that any international conventions signed by Zimbabwe have to be incorporated by way of an act of parliament first,

    Noting the existence of the constitutional reform framework enshrined in Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement (GPA),

    Cognisant of the flaws in the constitutional reform process outlined in Article 6, particularly concerns over its contradiction to civil society's views on the ideal people-driven constitution making process,

    Noting the limited spaces for civil society to play a meaningful and leading role in the country's ongoing political transition,

    Hereby resolve to:

    Lobby for the Parliamentary Select Committee set out in Article 6 to be urgently reformed, to guarantee a genuine people-led process,

    Utilise any appropriate political space on constitutional reform to influence issues of process and content as long as citizens' input is accurately and fairly taken into account, with the option of disengaging from any process that proves inimical to this goal,

    Lobby for a mechanism to safeguard the contents of any ensuing draft constitution against tampering by unscrupulous interests,

    Campaign rigorously for the inclusion of Social and Economic Rights in the Bill of Rights of the new proposed constitution,

    Support any campaigns for the establishment of an Independent Human Rights Commission, to guarantee peoples' realisation of social and economic rights,

    Campaign rigorously for the new constitution to give Parliament and civil society guaranteed, meaningful participation in any future public loan contraction and management,

    Campaign for a constitutional limit on external debt service as a proportion of social spending,

    Respect the diversity of views and positions amongst local civil society organisations, which are in fact complementary in a vibrant democratic debate on constitutional reform,

    Conduct rigorous civic education on issues of constitutionalism and constitution making, with emphasis on social and economic rights.

    In articulating this position, we call for ongoing, close collaboration and unity of purpose amongst civic groups, and the prioritisation of the voices of the marginalized grassroots, in activities linked to constitution making. All strategic positions occupied by civil society in the constitution reform process must be used to push individual constituencies' interests, and compliment wider civil society's struggles for a more democratic society that prioritises principles of good economic governance and pro-poor policies.

    Visit the ZIMCODD fact sheet

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