Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

An analysis of the working Draft Constitution

An analysis of the working Draft Constitution

ZESN held a public meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the 26th of June 
2012 with the topic: An Analysis of the Working Draft Constitution/COPAC 
process. They were four speakers representing the academia, civil society 
and women namely Dr. Charity Manyeruke, Dr. Alex Magaisa, Ms. Emilia Muchawa 
and Professor Lovemore Madhuku.

The major highlights were as follows:

• Dr. Charity Manyeruke highlighted that there is need to give up individual 
rights as the current constitution making process is engulfed with self 
interest of individuals, political parties and interest groups. She further 
stated that Constitutions are not written by the people but by those who 
wield power; the politicians. On devolution she commented that Devolution is 
a policy issue and therefore cannot be enshrined in the Constitution. She 
dismissed dual citizenship stating that economic benefits from those in the 
Diaspora are paltry.

• Dr. Alex Magaisa said that Zimbabwe will rightly develop its new 
constitution informed by the past, present and future aspirations of its 
people. He highlighted four key improved areas in the Working Draft 
Constitution such as the Bill of Rights, Citizenship, Separation of Powers 
and Elections. He reiterated that it was premature to say the process is 
flawed, as we the contents of the official draft are yet to be published, 
“let it be judged when it comes out” said Dr. Magaisa. He also saw a great 
need to deconstruct the contentious issue on Devolution which he regarded as 
an issue that has been misinterpreted to mean cession. Unlike Dr. Manyeruke 
he argued that devolution would be good for Zimbabwe.

• Ms. Emilia Muchawa highlighted that the Constitution of Zimbabwe which was 
adopted as part of the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement was a document which 
offers little opportunity for women. She applauded the working draft as she 
said after carrying out a Gender Audit of the Working Draft Constitution it 
can be safely said that 75% of women’s concerns had been included. However, 
she said that women felt that more could be done as there is no mention of 
gender parity in critical areas such as the security service and the 
judiciary. The women of Zimbabwe are demanding a constitution that 
guarantees more women in decision making positions through adoption of 
mechanisms such as a constitutional quota.

• Professor Madhuku maintained the NCA position that they would mobilize 
people for a NO vote to the new constitution as it believes that it is the 
outcome of the three political parties and is not driven by the people. He 
said that the political parties are in control of the process. He envisaged 
a scenario whereby the GPA principals might adopt the constitution without 
subjecting the draft to a Constitutional Referendum. He urged people to 
judge the COPAC draft on both the process and the content.

• COPAC was urged to intensify their dissemination of information on the 
process as the public is not aware of progress with the draft constitution.



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