Zimbabwe

Zim draft charter cleared for referendum

2013-02-07 07:49

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

Mugabe backs Russia
Mugabe backs Russia

Zimbabwean's veteran president Robert Mugabe has voiced his support for Russia describing Western sanctions against Moscow as illegal.

Harare - Zimbabwe's parliament has been presented with a long-awaited draft constitution, opening the way for a referendum followed by elections this year in the southern African country.

The charter, which would restrict presidential powers, has taken more than three years to produce due to bickering between President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF and the rival MDC.

The draft must become law to allow elections to take place under a power-sharing deal between Mugabe's party and rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change.

It was presented to parliament on Wednesday and Douglas Mwonzora, a leader of the parliamentary committee that produced the document, said it was not up for debate.

"This is a people's constitution and must go as quickly as possible to the people," Mwonzora said.

Disputed polls led to widespread violence in 2008.

Under the draft constitution, the president will be required to choose members of parliament to join a cabinet that would need to give their majority backing to any decrees limiting civil liberties.

The current constitution allows a president to enforce decrees for up to six months.

The president would be limited to two five-year terms, starting from the next election. This will not be applied retrospectively, so the 88-year-old Mugabe - in power since independence from Britain in 1980 - could technically rule for another two terms.

Stiff challenge

Mugabe will contest the next election despite questions over his advanced age and concerns over his health.

He will face a stiff challenge from the MDC, which is promising to revive an economy that shrank by an estimated 40% from 2000 to 2010 due largely to Mugabe's seizure of white-owned commercial farms.

The draft constitution is backed by MDC and ZANU-PF, so it is set to be debated and approved by the two-thirds majority required for it to become law in parliament after a national referendum between March and April.

Funding problems that have dogged the writing of the new constitution could delay the referendum and Finance Minister Tendai Biti said he has approached donors for help.

Although the economy has recovered under the unity government, most foreign donors have withheld money, pressing for wider political and economic reforms.

The draft retains a ban on same-sex marriage. It also keeps the death penalty, but only for "murder committed in aggravating circumstances" and makes exceptions for women and people younger than 21 or older than 70.

- Reuters

Read more on:    mdc  |  zanu-pf  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  robert mugabe  |  tendai biti  |  douglas mwonzora  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to fight against the current today but this will just use up a lot of energy and not get you very far. You...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.