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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles


  • Principals agree on draft Constitution: New dawn for the Zimbabwe women
    Women's Institute for Leadership Development
    January 18, 2013

    Principals of the Inclusive Government yesterday resolved all outstanding issues that had stalled the Constitution-making process, paving way for the completion of the Draft Constitution. President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara met at State House and received a report from the Cabinet committee tasked with resolving contentious issues.

    Speaking during a telephone interview with WILD, Hon. Douglas Mwonzora said there were no outstanding issues anymore. "All parties have agreed. We have finally agreed on the finalisation of the draft constitution. There are no outstanding issues anymore." He added that the committee was meeting today at 10 am to incorporate the finalised changes adding that by Monday they should have a final Draft Constitution.

    He however said it was not possible to hold the referendum before March because the Draft Constitution has to be taken to parliament for deliberation. This will also give the nation a chance to appreciate the Draft before they vote for it. He also said that the decision of the actual date of the referendum lies with the Principals.

    According to the Herald, President Robert Mugabe confirmed that yesterday's meeting ended in consensus. "After the final completion, we will make proclamations on the way forward. "We will stipulate on the roadmap when a referendum will be held. We will also stipulate when our elections will be forthcoming." He said.

    Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai reiterated the same sentiments. "I am glad to say indeed this completes a long journey we have traveled in this national process to create this landmark moment in the country's history," he said.

    Professor Welshman Ncube, whose party early this week complained that he was being excluded from GPA principals' meetings to discuss the constitution, said he was happy with the outcome.

    "I can confirm that the meeting ended with consensus on all outstanding issues in respect to the constitution of Zimbabwe," he said. "All the parties are in agreement. We will now have to incorporate the agreed changes on the July 18 COPAC draft and go for a referendum. According to the Global Political Agreement, a new constitution is a must before fresh elections.

    This new development is a positive step forward for the women in Zimbabwe. The new constitution contains the equality and non-discrimination clause, making it different from the current Lancaster House Constitution where equality rights are not clearly stated. Holding elections under the Lancaster House constitution may be conceived by women as a deliberate ploy by the three political parties involved to exclude women from public processes such as the upcoming elections.

    Section 4.13(2) of the draft constitution categorically states that, "Women and men have the right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres." The draft constitution takes critical steps towards enhancing gender equality in politics.

    WILD is happy about the latest development. Women will now be able to take part in politics and public participation. We also urge young women to take advantage of the opportunities that will open up because of the Draft Constitution. It is indeed a new dawn for the Zimbabwean woman.

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