Key points in Zim's draft constitution

2013-03-14 20:47
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(Picture: Shutterstock)

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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.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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