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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Constitution bulletin day 63 & 64
    Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
    September 13, 2010

    Hon MP Douglas Mwonzora co-chairperson of the Parliamentary Select Committee for the constitution making process has confirmed that COPAC, with the assistance of UNICEF funding, will conduct consultation meetings strictly for children and youths. The meetings will be held on the 23rd and 24th of September. This group is receiving special treatment together with people with special needs after their low participation was noted in the public meetings that have been held so far.

    Meanwhile, the constitution consultation meeting held at Javara Primary School in Mt Darwin, Mashonaland Central on 10 September was yet another show of political battle.

    Residents were not able to exercise their right to express their desires for the new constitution as they only parroted what they have been requested to say by politicians, who want to protect their self interests. For example, a participant requested that there be no land audit, but could not give a reason for it. Another response which has become popular among Zanu PF supporters is the 99-year lease for land ownership. One said he wants it because it will enable people to borrow money from the bank and the government will have the power to give them and take land whenever it feels like it.

    Besides saying out the coached responses it was also clear that people are ignorant of constitutional issues and have not received adequate civic education on the constitution making. For thematic areas where they did not get political coaching they would just say "Zviripo ndizvo zvatinoda," meaning "we want the law to remain as it is." These responses were on issues like the role or function of the Auditor General, Attorney General and the public sector.

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