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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles


  • Constitutional update
    Bulawayo Agenda
    July 06, 2010

    Matabeleland South

    Meetings were held in West Nicholson, Mzimunye, Masungugwe, Mopane, Nyambeni and Sibozwa. Sentiments coming in from the area state that the meetings have been going on well. In most farming areas, there has been notable civic education on what the communities should say with some of participants contradicting each other on what should be included in the constitution. Topical issues coming up in the province have been an ongoing debate on proportional representation with the majority of the population calling for first past the post system, a debate on the death penalty, while in other the unitary system proved more popular as compared to devolution of power. In the same areas, the communities called for an executive president with two five year terms adding that this should be extended to the legislature which will see Members of Parliament only being in office for two five year terms. Ability to own land has also proved popular although contradictory statements have been made on whether the communities can own the land and also hold the title deeds. Some of the participants have argued that the land should be centralized and under the control of the executive president.

    Midlands

    Midlands meetings have also been progressing well despite the poor welfare conditions for the outreach teams. The topical issues coming up strongly include the devolution of power although the communities were not clear on whether or not they wanted provincial governments. Participants in most of the areas were calling for an executive president who has the power to appoint the judiciary at his discretion. The communities also argued that the president should have the powers to appoint war veterans, youths and other selected groups into parliament. In the Midlands region it was also highlighted that the founding principles should include the aspect of the liberation war while there was no mention of the aspect of good governance. The region also failed to agree on whether or not to include any aspects on dual citizenship.

    Mashonaland West

    The welfare of the COPAC teams has improved marginally with the issues of vehicles and fuel improving. The pattern that has been emerging in the meetings is that the overwhelming majority of participants do not contribute in the meetings and only a handful of people, who usually occupy the front rows, do all the talking. Most of the contributions are non-constitutional as people are speaking about the grievances that they face as communities such as lack of agricultural inputs. The teams travel to Shamva, a predominantly rural area on the outskirts of Bindura.

    Matabeleland North

    In a constitution outreach meeting in Mpumalanga Suburb in Hwange, residents freely aired their views among which were the devolution of power, independent commissions, and the depoliticisation of traditional leaders. Three outreach meetings were scheduled at the same time although in different wards and this impacted heavily on the turnout of the people to the meetings. In the ZESA Area, there was a low turnout of people as most residents could not attend the meetings during working hours. The general feeling in Hwange was that a convenient time would be on Saturday afternoon when most of the working population who are the working class are free to attend.

    Other news

    Manicaland

    Four facilitators were arrested, last Thursday, in a ZIMCODD meeting to discuss audiuos and illegitimate debts and the constitutional provisions for money coming into the country. The facilitators were alleged to have denigrated some members of the government, after demanding a debt audit that will define who borrowed the money and for what purpose. However, they were eventually released after five hours as there was no case.

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