Breaking News

ZAPU takes a qualified stand on the draft constitution

by Strike Mkandla
12 February 2013 | 4082 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

Could there be war if Grace Mugabe becomes President?

Yes
75.61%
No
8.94%
Who cares?
15.45%
246

Comments

Latest Classifieds (Click Here For More)

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Obert Mpofu's newspaper struggles to pay salaries - A NEWSPAPER owned ...

by Staff Reporter | 23 October 2014 | 14 Views

Grace Mugabe summons war veterans - FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe has report...

by Staff reporter | 23 October 2014 | 47 Views

'Grace Mugabe must stop attacking journalists in public' - Local media...

by Staff reporter | 23 October 2014 | 50 Views

Mugabe chickens out, defers politburo again - PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe ...

by Staff reporter | 23 October 2014 | 130 Views

Man axes uncle, hangs himself - A BINGA man allegedly axed his uncle t...

by Staff reporter | 23 October 2014 | 111 Views

Man hangs self for 'impregnating a cousin' - A 22-YEAR-OLD man from Zh...

by Staff reporter | 23 October 2014 | 219 Views

'Mugabe plotting a dynasty' - MAVAMBO/KUSILE/DAWN (MKD) leader Simba M...

by Staff reporter | 23 October 2014 | 164 Views

Delta explains disgusting Ndebele boob - DELTA BEVERAGES yesterday sai...

by Staff reporter | 23 October 2014 | 254 Views

Bulawayo lawyer on the run - A MAN from Waterford in Bulawayo has file...

by Staff reporter | 23 October 2014 | 235 Views

Morgan Tsvangirai visits Moyo after horrific car accident - MDC-T nati...

by Staff Reporter | 23 October 2014 | 626 Views

The End of Mugabe and Mujuru, rise of Mnangagwa

by Itai Mushekwe | 23 October 2014 | 4190 Views

Macheso 'infected' husband with STI just before wedding day

by Staff Reporter | 23 October 2014 | 3513 Views

Mnangagwa escapes death by a whisker

by Staff Reporter | 23 October 2014 | 4283 Views

Woman launches new political party - A NEW political party, the Afric...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 2592 Views

Tillage starts at a slow pace

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1049 Views

Salaries dominate govt expenditure - Public sector salaries continue t...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1705 Views

Gun shot in Canada parliament building - Video

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1410 Views

Veld fires kill nine people

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1872 Views

Man threatens to kill dad over money from rent - A disobedient son wen...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1972 Views

Dr Simba Makoni Leave Dr Grace Mugabe Alone

by Suitable Kajau | 22 October 2014 | 4654 Views

Msipa demanding answers from Mugabe - HARARE - Respected Zanu PF elder...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 4873 Views

'Grace Mugabe a liar' - HARARE - Opposition leader Simba Makoni has br...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 3129 Views

State must have nothing to fear - Dzamara - Over 150 people today turn...

by Itai Dzamara | 22 October 2014 | 2744 Views

'I saw a vision of me ruling the heavenly kingdom' says Grace Mugabe

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 4779 Views

Woman says she steals for a living, Magistrate left speechless

by Leonard Ncube | 22 October 2014 | 2757 Views

Cyclist kills pedestrian - A cyclist has been fined $400 for hitting a...

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1628 Views

Mother of Pistorius's girlfriend insists she did not want 'revenge'

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 1832 Views

Uniting the Ndebele People - The Mzilikazi Cultural Association, MCA i...

by Mzilikazi Cultural Association | 22 October 2014 | 1626 Views

'Insecure' man locks wife in bedroom until he returns from work

by Staff Reporter | 22 October 2014 | 3885 Views

Entertainment

Zim representative in the Big Brother Africa survives eviction - Zimba...

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 2368 Views

Grace Mugabe's political comedy takes ZTV hostage - For the past two w...

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 4659 Views

Oliver Mtukudzi to deliver lecture at Musica 2014 - Zimbabwe's interna...

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2014 | 1351 Views

Gezha maoko - Ladybee (Official Video)

by Staff Reporter | 19 October 2014 | 2340 Views

Matebeleland Music & Arts Festival - Sivala umnyaka ngengoma lapho sit...

by Staff Reporter | 17 October 2014 | 1657 Views

Obediah Matulana releases Christmas DVD - Bulawayo-based musician Obed...

by Staff reporter | 16 October 2014 | 1892 Views

Grace Mugabe honoured in song - Dancehall outfit Final Warning has rel...

by Tawanda Marwizi | 15 October 2014 | 2365 Views

US firm makes money off Zimbabwe concept - United States transport sh...

by Staff reporter | 14 October 2014 | 2964 Views
iBlog

Positions To Make Female Orgasm Easier During Intercourse

some women are fortunate enough to be able to climax easily, and in almost any sexual position. the majority of women though, sometimes find it difficult to orgasm especially when they are with a partner. sometimes this difficulty is just a result ... Read More
adoniadennis 12 May 2014 ago

Protect Your Greatest Small Business Asset: Time

if your work week is way more than 40 hours, your smartphone is glued to your hand, and your to-do list is multiple pages of overdue tasks—you know how valuable every minute of your time is.your smartphone and tablet make doing business from anyw... Read More
Sergey 05 September 2014 ago