Breaking News

ZAPU takes a qualified stand on the draft constitution

by Strike Mkandla
12 February 2013 | 4266 Views
In the next few weeks Zimbabweans will be voting in a referendum on whether to accept or reject the draft of the new constitution adopted on 7th February 2013 by Parliament at the recommendation of the three signatory parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA), namely Zanu-PF and the two formations in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC and MDC-T).

Like many non-GPA political formations, civil society organizations and concerned members of the public, ZAPU has followed and sought ways to influence the constitutional process. However, the straightjacket of the GPA has allowed room for its signatories to collectively dictate the limits of change in constitutional reform. In particular, prior to the presentation of this draft drawn up by the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution (COPAC), the final version was the result of massaging and horse-trading by the Principals or leaders of the three GPA parties. Consequently the draft adopted by Parliament simultaneously reflects both widening of democratic space and three-legged features dictated by self-interest, most exemplified by what has been dubbed "parked" provisions.

The most glaringly subjective provisions relate to the office of President and to some areas dealing with justice. The GPA signatories agreed to defer by ten years the implementation of a provision for presidential running mates and changing from the current practice of appointing two Vice-Presidents that date from 1987. Transitional justice was also sacrificed through the agreement to put in abeyance for seven years the Constitutional Court, while the Peace and Reconciliation Commission would be in place ten years from the inception of the new constitution, thus allowing those who would have to explain their misdemeanors to age or die. The agreed delay in separating the National Prosecuting Authority from the Attorney General's office is another limitation of the COPAC draft "breakthrough". ZAPU's reading of public opinion from the COPAC outreach process and the party's own take is that the draft is also deficient in leaving the possibility of dual citizenship to an Act of Parliament, whereas Zimbabwe's recent history of political exile and current economically induced migration have ensured significant numbers of descendants in the Diaspora who deserve dual citizenship as an entrenched right.

ZAPU has been steadfast in championing devolution of power as answer to excessive central power and tendencies to marginalize, by design or by default, areas that are far from Harare. The draft constitution stresses the "unitary" nature of the Zimbabwean state and almost equates devolution with sliding towards secession by prefacing the relevant chapter with "preservation of national unity and prevention of all forms of disunity and secessionism". This grudging introduction of devolution in the draft constitution is matched by the paltry allocation of revenue to the provincial and metropolitan governments such that "not less than five percent" of national revenue shall be shared among the ten units.

ZAPU is among the proponents of proportional representation because the system would ensure that parliamentary representation reflects the true strength of parties. In the COPAC draft the principle has been used for determining women's representation by 60 representatives covering all the provinces, and some of the Senators. This is a good beginning in itself but it needs to be applied across the board instead of the "first past the post" system for selecting Members of Parliament.

An important element in ensuring free and fair elections is the eventual independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) from the office of the Registrar-General. Indeed, the creation of independent Commissions in the draft can be the beginning of professionalism, accountability and impartiality in key sectors of governance and administration of justice. This is particularly so in respect of a non-partisan civil service, security services and the judiciary, among others.




In the political sphere, the overall tone of the draft's founding principles and values provides optimism for a rights-based approach to crafting of state institutions as need for further change becomes more manifest and generalized among progressive political parties. In this regard, on balance, the draft provides some ground, with clear limitations no doubt, on which to build progress on in the right direction away from the 1979 Lancaster House constitution that has allowed a marathon presidency and has nurtured an unfettered monolithic center to give and take rights and civil liberties at will. ZAPU's National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on 9th February 2013, after consultations and internal debate, is advising members, supporters and all stakeholders to vote a qualified YES in the forthcoming referendum on the new constitution to hold the ground thus far won. As indicated above, many of our party's key expectations have not been met and we believe that goes for those of many stakeholders, but we firmly believe that in order not to start from the beginning in fighting for a truly people-centered constitution for Zimbabwe we should give this draft a qualified YES vote in the forthcoming referendum.

--------------
Strike Mkandla - Alternate Secretary General, ZAPU, on behalf of the National Executive Committee

Zapu Constitution


Disclaimer:
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Source: Zapu

Is Itai Dzamara eyeing the US Green Card?

Yes
20.21%
No
74.06%
Not sure
5.72%
559

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Mugabe, John Kerry witnesses Buhari's inauguration

by Nduduzo Tshuma | 30 May 2015 | 21 Views

Border jumpers kill charging crocodile

by Thupeyo Muleya | 30 May 2015 | 123 Views

Sepp Blatter re-elected FIFA president - Zurich - Sepp Blatter won th...

by AFP - Reuters | 29 May 2015 | 2400 Views

Unsung hero of Zimbabwe's 'dissident era' speaks out - BULAWAYO - A v...

by Thabo Kunene | 29 May 2015 | 5282 Views

ORAP to host Chevrolet tornament - ORAP Zenzele and Autoworld Bulaway...

by Stephen Jakes | 29 May 2015 | 1211 Views

Dog breeding now source of income in Zimbabwe - Dogs have always been ...

by Erol Ersoy - Anadolu Agency | 29 May 2015 | 2732 Views

Evil destruction caused by Zimbabwe farm invasions of 1999 - Coleen th...

by Nomazulu Thata | 29 May 2015 | 1983 Views

Tsvangirai's secret engagement - They say in a country of blind people...

by Caitlin Kamba | 29 May 2015 | 4084 Views

Is Zimra a Fair, Just and Socially Responsible company?

by Ndzimu-unami Emmanuel Moyo | 29 May 2015 | 927 Views

Archer Clothing workers stage demo

by Thobekile Zhou | 29 May 2015 | 1503 Views

Moses Chunga shuts-door on 'zero budget' teams

by Thobekile Zhou | 29 May 2015 | 2334 Views

Child burning parents jailed - The abusive Raffingora couple that dipp...

by Staff reporter | 29 May 2015 | 1810 Views

Manager forces female workmate to play with his manhood

by Staff Reporter | 29 May 2015 | 4488 Views

'Mujuru can win 2018 elections' - Analysts say the only way Zimbabwe c...

by Staff reporter | 29 May 2015 | 2517 Views

France re-engages Mugabe's Zimbabwe - A HIGH-POWERED delegation from t...

by Staff reporter | 29 May 2015 | 1981 Views

Zanu-PF is not afraid of anyone - I could not believe it when I read...

by Chido Chikuni | 29 May 2015 | 2150 Views

'Baba Jukwa' set free - Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi, whom Zimba...

by Thobekile Zhou | 29 May 2015 | 3087 Views

Plot to take Jonathan Moyo 'out' - INFORMATION Minister Jonathan Moyo...

by Staff Reporter | 29 May 2015 | 5583 Views

Maid accused of stealing $1 face-powder from minister's wife acquitted...

by Staff reporter | 29 May 2015 | 3118 Views

Grace Mugabe disappoint Masvingo vendors

by Staff Reporter | 29 May 2015 | 3962 Views

Harare prostitutes offer free sex to regulars

by Staff Reporter | 29 May 2015 | 4640 Views

Woman kills crocodile, suffers night attacks - A Hwange woman - Botsh...

by Staff Reporter | 29 May 2015 | 4974 Views

Beit Trust Scholarship application opens encourage others to apply - T...

by Staff reporter | 29 May 2015 | 2169 Views

Man threatens mother with toy gun - A Zvishavane man, Osborn Shumba (2...

by Staff Reporter | 29 May 2015 | 1755 Views

Welshman Ncube on Friday: The Economics of Happiness

by Welshman Ncube | 29 May 2015 | 2144 Views

Entertainment

ZiFM caught in royalties storm - THE Zimbabwe Music Rights Associati...

by Thobekile Zhou | 29 May 2015 | 1508 Views

Bev takes raunchy dance to UK - RAUNCHY pole dancer - Beverly Sibanda...

by Thobekile Zhou | 29 May 2015 | 2016 Views

Ex-Generations actress was once involved in an adulterous affair with ...

by Staff reporter | 26 May 2015 | 8191 Views

ZTV blackout looms - ZIMBABWE will likely miss the June 17 Internation...

by Staff reporter | 25 May 2015 | 5353 Views

Bulawayo snubs Big Nuz - AFTER gathering strength to make the long tr...

by Kusile Madlela | 25 May 2015 | 5068 Views

Winky D face 10 year UK ban for fraud

by Staff Reporter | 24 May 2015 | 7329 Views
iBlog

Time To Kiss Zimbabwe Goodbye Forever.

By israel dubethings fall apart at zanupf. brother turns against brother, sister betrays sister. the center cannot hold anymore. as the walls of oppression and discrimination collapse, matebeles must make sure that they do not find themselves lost i... Read More
myAfroTube 03 November 2014 ago

Obviously, Windows Xp Has Nothing More To Offer

With no support from the manufacturer, windows xp no longer receives antivirus updates, which provoked an increase in the number of attacks on xp users. according to avast company, windows xp systems are attacked 6 times more often than the devices r... Read More
Sergey 12 June 2014 ago