Key points in Zim's draft constitution

2013-03-14 20:47

Harare - Zimbabweans will on Saturday vote on a new constitution designed to underpin democratic reforms.

Here are a few of the key points of the text:

- Limits presidents to two five-year terms.

- Strips away presidential immunity from prosecution after leaving office.

- Bolsters the power of parliament, which will consist of 210 elected members and an additional 60 women lawmakers to be picked initially through a system of proportional representation.

- Partially abolishes death penalty for males aged below 21 and over 70 and for all females.

- Sets up a peace and reconciliation commission to take care of post-conflict justice and healing.

- Creates, for the first time, a Consitutional Court that would deal with governance abuse.

- Binds the police and the military to be impartial and forbids them from meddling in electoral issues.

- Reins in presidential influence on the appointment of members of the judiciary.

- Introduces devolution and decentralisation of power to enhance participation in decision making by citizens at local levels and ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources.

- Introduces a national prosecution authority that is de-linked from the attorney general who now becomes government's chief legal advisor.

- Compels a president to consult parliament in the event of military deployment to prevent undercover operations that may be linked to rights abuses.

- Introduces redress for victims of violence and intimidation to seek and get protection.

- Protects people against malicious arrests and prosecution.

- Compels courts to deal with electoral disputes within 14 days.

- Guarantees separation of powers between the executive, legislature and the judiciary.

- Guarantees free, fair and regular elections; and for citizens to freely make political choices.

- States that farmland seized from whites and handed to black farmers under a controversial land reform cannot be legally contested.

- Recognises 16 languages spoken in the country, including sign language.

- Outlaws same sex marriages.

  • Stephen Chagadama - 2013-03-14 21:51

    Good if only adhered to,

  • Michael McN - 2013-03-15 00:56

    Tough love for Zimbabwe. Incentives and rewards for leadership behaving like a responsible and fair government. Severe punishment including invasion, overthrow and death by hanging for ZANU-PFers who misbehave. Time is up for them. Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans. Mugabe for the devil.

  • Don Mug - 2013-03-15 06:20

    Why outlaw same-sex marriages?

      Bright Samundombe - 2013-03-16 11:52


  • DSBennie - 2013-03-15 07:37

    "States that farmland seized from whites and handed to black farmers under a controversial land reform cannot be legally contested." hope the farms in control of these racist effing scum are sewn with salt

      Mkanya - 2013-03-15 09:57

      Chapter 16 will be good enough to make sure land is put to good use. Hopefuly when the MDC comes into power, our land will be put to proper good use by farmers, and not some people who just grabed land so that they can climb the highest tree and spend the whole day gazing at it, hoping that a miracle would happen and they would reap dollars.

      Chibuli - 2013-03-15 10:10

      Mkanya, I agree that the land must be put to good use. This implies that only qualified and experienced farmers may own and farm all agricultural land - irrespective of whether they are Black or White. Food security is all that matters - not political ambition!

  • Trevor Bigthingz Mrewa - 2013-03-15 07:52

    An amazing document which will help in going forward

  • Leon Schwenk - 2013-03-15 07:57

    come on. does any body think this will work as long as mad bob is alive, or even while is around. ha

  • Siphathisiwe Patricia Sibanda - 2013-03-15 12:58

    I don't understand how in one instant they are promoting equality by having "additional 60 women lawmakers to be picked initially through a system of proportional representation" but next thing they saying women should not be given the death penalty......very contradictory. But this is a start in re-building Zim. Hope people go out and vote.

      Richard Smith - 2013-03-15 13:06

      These clauses and their content are mutually exclusive.There is no contradiction here.If one clause had said there is no exemption of women iro death penalty and another one in the same document said women will be exposed to the death penalty if required then there would be a contradiction.

      Siphathisiwe Patricia Sibanda - 2013-03-15 13:22

      I hear you Richard, but I still say it is as in one clause they are saying men and women should be equal hence the additional 60 female law makers, then they go on and say women shall not face the death penalty...that in terms of equality is contradictory.

  • Zephania Chakarisa - 2013-03-16 18:21

    Its a first step going forward. We have to start somewhere. We can't just sit back and mourn and groan forever. Its a good constitional draft. Yes challenges might be there in implementing but most areas are covered. That is if u looking at the future of our country.

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