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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Issues raised - Constitution bulletin day 17
    Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
    July 08, 2010

    In the past three weeks some of the topical issues discussed during the constitution public meetings were of gender, natural resources beneficiaries, the role of parliament and the presidential term of office.

    Women have called for the recognition of the new constitution, a 50-50 balance with men at all levels of decision making, particularly in key development posts. The MDC Women's Assembly secretary, Hon Evelyn Masaiti urged women to turn out in large numbers in the constitution making process. Women have suffered the inferiority complex and now it is time for women to rise.

    People also suggested that locals become the immediate beneficiaries of any natural resource. They should benefit either through the development of their community or through first preference to job opportunities. Chiadzwa in Manicaland Province was given as an example, people citing that the area surrounding the diamond mine should see infrastructure development from the diamond proceeds, and should manpower be needed, the residents should have preference.

    In addition the parliament should possess more authority than the political party in office when choosing key government personnel such as the Attorney General and the Reserve bank governor. As for the presidential term of office, the general consensus is that a president should not be in office for more than two terms of five years each.

    Zimbabwe's HIV and AIDS service organizations have also threatened to give a No vote during the referendum if the new constitution does not cater for rights to access HIV&AIDS treatment and access to health services.

    Issues further discussed include the reinforcement of the dearth penalty, the majority rule as 18; a review of marriage and inheritance laws; permission of dual citizenship; removal of provincial names with tribal connotations like Matebeleland and Mashonaland to names such as central province; media freedom and devolution of power. Despite reports of violence, ZimRights applauds Zimbabweans for coming out in their numbers and having the courage to raise issues that must be addressed. This will help in ensuring a people driven constitution that would be a law for the current and future generations.

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