Film On Zim Constitution-Making Process To Be Launched

The Royal Danish Embassy Office (RDEO) will on Friday presents the screening of Democrats — a documentary about Zimbabwe’s power struggle for a new constitution. 

The film directed by award-winning Danish filmmaker Camilla Nielsson, will be shown at 6.30pm at Book Café.

Democrats is an exciting, compelling and shocking documentary that presents a rare, vital snapshot into Zimbabwe’s democratisation process in its initial planning stages.

The film follows the co-chairpersons of the parliamentary select committee Copac, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF central committee member) and Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T secretary-general) who were tasked with creating a new constitution to satisfy the principles of both parties and the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe.

RDEO brings the film to Zimbabwe for public viewing ahead of its global television premiere which is scheduled for February 11 on BBC, in the interests of transparency, accountability of governance and inclusive democracy.

Filmed over three years with an astonishing level of internal access, the documentary traces the tortuous process of cross-party negotiations behind the country’s 2013 constitution and lays bare calamitous conflicts and fallouts that took place both behind closed doors and in the public space.

Nielsson’s film covers the boardroom back-and-forth between the parties’ respective teams while imparting universal insights into the art and craft of political diplomacy.

It also contains blistering material on a compelling political battle; exposing attempts at political manipulation of the constitution-making process, while showing the personal war and distinctly gradual meeting of minds between Mangwana and Mwonzora.

Ahead of the screening, Head of Mission at the Royal Danish Embassy Office Erik Brøgger Rasmussen said: “It is almost two years since the people of Zimbabwe voted in favour of the constitution with a large majority.”

He said the Danish government fully backs the aspirations of the population and finds that it is time for the country to fully implement and live the new constitution.

Rasmussen also added that its strong Bill of Rights was critical in demonstrating respect for human rights and freedoms.

Denmark has since 2008 been at the forefront in assisting Zimbabwe’s re-engagement process with the international community. Denmark is now Zimbabwe’s largest bilateral donor in per capita terms