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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles


  • Report on Constitutional reform activities - August to December 2009
    Radio Dialogue
    February 02, 2010

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    Introduction

    This report is a record of the results realised following work done by the Radio Dialogue Trust between August and December 2009 on the constitutional awareness programme. It is imperative that the writing of any democratic constitution should involve the active participation of citizens, so that there is some claim to the ownership of the constitution. Only then can we expect a situation where citizens are protected by the constitution, and citizens in turn protect that same constitution from abuse by powerful people.

    The aim of this project was to prepare the citizens of Bulawayo for the consultative process to be conducted by the constitutional outreach teams. This is only part of the work initiated by many civil society organisations, for promoting constitutional awareness and literacy among citizens, hoping thereby to enhance citizen participation in the constitution making process.

    The activities which Radio Dialogue engaged in during this period include Focus Group Meetings, Roadshows, and Live Broadcast Meetings. These activities were chosen for their interactive nature, thereby encouraging maximum participation.

    Some of the key topical issues that came up during these activities are the following:

    • The Kariba Draft must not be considered in this process.
    • The term of office for the President must be limited.
    • There must be devolution of power so that provinces are allowed to exercise some authority over local issues and resources. This was cited with the accessibility of such critical documents as birth and death certificates as well as passports and other important documents which are usually processed in Harare.
    • Freedom of expression must be guaranteed i.e. more newspapers and radio stations should be allowed to operate to promote plurality and diversity of voices and views.
    • Presidential powers must be reduced such that a president does not unilaterally make key decisions including appointment of key government officials.
    • There must be clear separation of powers such that the executive, the legislature and the judiciary operate without encroaching or overlapping on each other.
    • Free and fair elections must be guaranteed in the constitution.
    • Youth must be represented adequately in parliament, i.e. by someone who is a youth, who understands and appreciates problems that young people face.
    • The constitution should grant equal leadership opportunities for both men and women.
    • There must be an age limit for a President, not older than 65 years old.
    • A provision in the constitution for MPs and other elected government officials to give stipulated report back to their respective constituencies.
    • Youth grants and income generating programmes.
    • Recognition of people living with HIV and AIDS.
    • There must be constitutionally guaranteed free basic primary education.
    • There must be a constitutionally guaranteed right to basic primary heath care.
    • Respect for human rights such as the right to life.
    • The constitution must curb corruption in economic affairs by guaranteeing transparent and accountable public and private finances.
    • The constitution should guarantee the right to decent gainful employment for all employable citizens.
    • People also complained about the fact that Zimbabwe does not have her own currency as a sovereign nation.
      They complained about their money which got locked up in banks and urged the central bank to do something about it.

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