New constitution not yet ready
By Tichaona Sibanda
05 July 2012
Drafting of the country’s new constitution appears to be nearing its final
stage this week, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric
Matinenga said on Thursday.
The MDC-T cabinet minister told SW Radio Africa that only a few minor issues
were unresolved and the new charter would be ready by next week.
‘God willing, the draft will be ready by Monday when we meet to deliberate
on it as many of the contentious issues have already been resolved,’
But last week Douglas Mwonzora, the COPAC co-chairperson representing the
MDC-T, had indicated that the new charter would be ready by Wednesday.
Matinenga however said there were ‘unforeseen’ issues that needed to be
dealt with before releasing the constitution. He said the COPAC management
committee met on Tuesday but agreed to meet again on Monday next week to
allow for ‘technical adjustments to be made on the charter.’
‘Look whenever people from different political backgrounds meet to work on a
program or document, it’s always difficult to produce a document that is
agreeable to everybody.
‘You must also take into account the fact that all the groups have to report
to different principals who might also want a relook at certain sections of
the document,’ explained Matinenga.
It’s now envisaged that once work on the draft is done before the end of
this month, the document would be ready to go to Parliament by early August,
before going to a referendum between September and October this year.
Sources close to the drafting said there has been an agreement about all the
basic issues, including the basic rights, duties and freedoms.
Matinenga said that the three remaining stumbling blocks in the new charter
had been resolved, including structure of the executive, devolution and dual
citizenship, plus there had been an agreement that at least 25 per cent of
parliament seats should be reserved for women.