Parliament adopts constitution draft report

HARARE - Parliament yesterday adopted and approved Zimbabwe’s constitutional draft, which paves the way for the holding of a much-anticipated referendum, possibly in March.

Zimbabweans are now expected to vote in a referendum, which will either accept or reject the new charter.

With the proposed charter being debated in the House of Assembly by legislators after presentations by the Constitutional Select Committee (Copac) representatives, Matabeland North governor Thokozile Mathuthu led a similar process in Senate.

While the report got a clean bill in both houses, legislators said it was people-driven and now awaits endorsement by the public.

Zanu PF representative and Copac co-chair Paul Mangwana said the journey — starting in 2009 — had been tedious, as the major political parties were suspicious of each other, hence delays.

“During the initial phase we were having problems as the three main political parties sometimes quarrelled meaningless. We tried to find each other, which we eventually did and made progress to complete the draft,” he said.

On the other hand, Movement for Democratic Change representative Douglas Mwonzora disclosed that the charter had 18 chapters comprising people’s views gathered through an outreach programme.

“This is a document for Zimbabweans and it does not belong to any political party either Zanu PF, MDC or Mavambo, but to the people and everyone must support it,” he said.

With the parliamentary process being a key stage in the constitution-making process, it will be consummated not only by a March referendum, but key debate in Parliament as a bill.

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