THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector
 
 
    HOME THE PROJECT DIRECTORYJOINARCHIVESEARCH E:ACTIVISMBLOGSMSFREEDOM FONELINKS CONTACT US
 

 


Back to Index

This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles


  • Constitution outreach talking points [Revised] - Constitution Watch 6/2010
    Veritas
    May 20, 2010

    The outreach talking points have been revised and agreed to by the Management Committee. Some of the criticisms and suggestions raised by civil society have been taken on board. The original talking points were too prescriptive and could have inhibited contributions from the public. The revised talking points are much clearer, and the open ended nature of the questions will promote more discussion and permit freer input. The talking points have been reduced in number, making them easier for outreach teams to use.

    Note: to achieve the exercise of making the talking points clearer and briefer they were divided into 26 headings which have been called “thematic areas”. The number of Thematic Subcommittees remains fixed at 17, however, as this was a decision emanating from the First All Stakeholders’ Conference, and the Thematic Subcommittees have already been set up. The 26 headings/”thematic areas” of the revised talking points will be fitted back into the 17 themes. For example, Citizenship and the Bill of Rights have been dealt with separately in the headings listed below, but will still belong in Thematic Subcommittee 4: Citizenship and Bill of Rights; Electoral Systems, Transitional Mechanisms and Independent Commissions are listed separately for clarity, but will all fit into Thematic Subcommittee 12.

    26 “Thematic areas” [Note these will be fitted into the 17 themes of the thematic sub-committees]

    1. Preamble: A preamble is a preliminary statement that introduces a constitution. A preamble normally carries the major historical legacies and challenges of a nation and its values and aspirations.

    Talking Points

    What are the national legacies, values and aspirations that should be set out in the preamble?

    2. Founding principles of the constituion: Founding principles are those values that citizens commit themselves to their adherence. They are the foundations of the constitution and they reflect the manner in which the people desire to be governed.

    Talking Points

    What are the fundamental legacies, values and principles that should underpin the constitution?

    3. Citizenship: Citizenship is one’s membership of a country which a person gets because they were born in that country or their parents were born in that country, lived in that country or were registered in that country.

    Talking Points

    a) How should citizenship be acquired?
    a) Should dual/multiple citizenship be allowed?

    4. Bill of rights: A Bill of Rights sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people.

    Talking Points

    a) What fundamental rights and freedoms should be protected and guaranteed in the constitution?
    b) What social, economic and cultural rights should be included in the constitution?
    c) Should the death penalty be retained?

    5. Women and gender issues

    Talking Points

    What specific rights should be protected and guaranteed to women by the constitution?

    6. Youth

    Talking Points

    a) Who are the youth in Zimbabwe? >From what age to what age?
    b) What specific rights for the youth should be guaranteed in the constitution?

    7. The disabled

    Talking Points

    What specific rights for the disabled should be guaranteed in the constitution?

    8. Media

    Talking Points

    What specific rights should the constitution guarantee to the media?

    9. War veterans

    Talking Points

    What specific rights should be afforded to war veterans in the constitution?

    10. Land

    Talking Points

    How should the constitution address the issue of land?

    11. Employment

    Talking Points

    How should the constitution deal with the empowerment of previously disadvantaged groups?

    12. Environment

    Talking Points

    How should the constitution deal with the issue of the environment?

    13. Natural resources

    Talking Points

    How should the constitution deal with the issue of natural resources?

    14. Labour

    Talking Points

    What specific rights should be granted to workers in the constitution?

    15. Religion

    Talking Points

    How should the constitution of Zimbabwe deal with the issue of religion?

    16. Systems of government: Systems of government refer to the manner states are organized, that is, the distribution of political power and responsibility within the state. There are three major systems of governance in modern states. These are federal states, unitary states and unitary states with devolved powers.

    Federal State: A federal system of governance obtains where a country is divided into two or more states with their own governments which then agree to have one national government.

    Unitary State: A unitary system is where power is held by a single central government that controls all the political and administrative power.

    A Devolved State: Devolution is whereby in a unitary system, political and administrative power is shared between a national government and lower level spheres of the state, for example, provinces and local authorities

    Talking Points

    a) What system of government should Zimbabwe have? (Federal, unitary, devolved)
    b) Should there be provincial governments and how should they be constituted?
    c) Should there be local governments and how should they be constituted?
    d) What should be the functions of provincial and local governments?
    e) How many provinces should we have?
    f) How should they be determined?

    17. Arms of the state: There are three principal functions of the state that is, making laws, interpretation of the laws and implementation of the laws. These vest in the legislature, judiciary and the executive respectively

    17.1 The Executive

    Talking Points

    a) How should executive power be organized and distributed? (Should there be a President, a Prime Minister or both?)
    b) How should they be elected/appointed?
    c) Should all ministers be MPs?
    d) Should all ministers not be MPs?
    e) Should some ministers be MPs and others not?
    f) How should ministers be appointed?

    17.2 The Legislature

    Talking Points

    a) How many Houses of Parliament should we have?
    b) Should there be MPs who are appointed?
    c) Should MPs be allowed to cross the floor with their seats?
    d) Should any seats be reserved for:

    (i) women
    (ii) traditional leaders
    (iii) the disabled
    (iv) special interest groups

    17.3 The Judiciary

    Talking Points

    a) How should our court system be organized?
    b) How should judges be appointed?

    18. Electoral systems: There are a number of electoral systems obtaining in the world, the common of which are the first past the post system, the proportional representation system and the hybrid system comprising of the two.
    First Past the Post System: This is a system whereby the person with the highest number of votes becomes the elected representative of the electorate.

    Proportional Representation: This is a system whereby the elected people are determined by the proportion of votes obtained by each party.

    Hybrid System: This is where some of the representatives are elected on the basis of the first past the post system and others on the basis of proportional representation.

    Talking Points

    What type of electoral system should Zimbabwe have?

    • First past the post?
    • Proportional representation?
    • Hybrid?

    19. Independent public offices: These are specialized executive offices of government performing important executive or oversight functions.

    Talking Points

    a) What independent public offices should be created in the constitution and how should they be appointed?
    b) How should the constitution provide for:

    (i) The Attorney General?
    (ii) Auditor and Comptroller General?
    (ii) Public Protector/Ombudsman?

    c) What are the functions of the Attorney General that should be provided for in the constitution?
    d) Should the Attorney General who is the legal advisor to government also be the national prosecutor?

    20. Independent commissions: Specialized constitutional watchdogs for monitoring, promoting and enforcing rights and obligations in their areas of specialty.

    Talking Points

    a) What independent commissions should be provided for in the constitution?
    b) How should their independence be protected?
    c) How should independent commissions be appointed?

    21. Executive commissions: Are bodies through which the state implements laws and policies.

    Talking Points

    What executive commissions should be provided for in the constitution?

    22. Public finance: This includes the management and accounting of public funds, Consolidated Revenue Fund, the preparation and the management of the budget and the auditing and oversight over public finances

    Talking Points

    a) Which aspects of Public Finance should be regulated by the constitution?
    b) How should the constitution provide for the management of the national budget?

    23. Central bank

    Talking Points

    What aspects of the Central Bank should be regulated by the constitution?

    24. Traditional leaders

    Talking Points

    What role should be accorded to traditional leaders in the constitution?

    25. Languages, arts and culture

    Talking Points

    How should the constitution deal with the issues of languages, arts and culture?

    26. Transitional mechanisms: Those provisions in the constitution providing for the orderly transition from the old to the new one.

    Talking Points

    What transitional mechanisms should be enshrined in the constitution?

    Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

    Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.

    TOP