Zim Human Rights Lawyers Say Constitution Process Flawed

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said this in its latest commentary on the state of the inclusive government.
The group said the establishment of a conducive electoral environment is the only ingredient needed to hold a successful election dismissing the current constitution making process as flawed.
“Once the conducive environment is established, the election must take place irrespective of whether or not a new constitution has been in place. In any event, the process leading to the crafting of this
elusive constitution is fundamentally compromised and flawed,” said ZLHR Chairman Andrew Makoni while addressing journalists in Harare Thursday.
“Even if a new constitution emerges before an election, it can only be a transitional document and the struggle for people driven constitution must continue under a new government with one centre of power.”
Makoni said the constitutional making process can not be a base upon which the country’s elections should be held because it has been highly politicised.
“The architects of the constitution making process have unduly politicised the exercise and have failed to ensure adequate representation of Zimbabweans in processes undertaken thus far,” said Makoni.
“The Inclusive government has flouted its own timelines. It has politicised committees, outreach teams and the input of data. The operating environment during the outreach exercise was not conducive
to free participation due to intimidation, violence, partisan state institutions and the selective use and abuse of repressive laws inhibiting free expression, association and assembly.”
 The ZLHR says instead of a new constitution the African Union (AU) and the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) which are co-guarantors of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) should draft
a decisive roadmap to elections which will ensure and free and fair plebiscite.
 “There is now need to move towards the urgent finalisation and implementation of a comprehensive and decisive roadmap to fresh elections which are genuine free and fair,” Makoni said. “The role and
responsibility of SADC and the AU in ensuring a conducive environment for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe in the shortest time possible cannot be underestimated. There must be political will manifested
through clear time-lines and repercussions for non-compliance.”