Zim Civic Society Hails Finalisation of Draft Constitution

Harare, January 19, 2013 – Zimbabwe’s civic society now wants the unity government to unveil an election calendar and whether the new draft constitution meets the aspirations of the people.

This follows the finalisation on Thursday, of the draft constitution by the Global Political Agreement (GPA) principals, paving way for fresh elections.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Director McDonald Lewanika said:

“The progress made thus far is commendable, but time remains of the essence. Fifty months, and $60 million dollars have been sunk into this process. Both time and money are luxuries that the nation no longer has, and government should immediately inform the people of a calendar detailing when certain reforms will be made, and when the people will make their rendezvous with the referendum and elections.”

Chairperson of the Women’s Coalition, Virginia Muwanigwa, said she was happy the process had been concluded.

“We are not going to celebrate until we get the contents and analyse whether it is in tandem with what we asked to be in the new constitution. We would want to know the timelines of going to the referendum.”

Chairperson of National Association of Non-governmental Organisations (Nango), Effie Ncube, agreed with Muwanigwa, saying: “The people of Zimbabwe expect a new constitution to enable our elections to be consistent with international standards.”

The draft constitution is now set to be presented to Parliament for debate before being subjected to a referendum according to Article VI of the GPA.

The finalisation of the draft constitution meets with expectations of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which tasked South Africa president Jacob Zuma to mediate in the political crisis of the country and to ensure a constitutional process that leads to elections.