Zimbabwe Lawyers Craft Model Constitution

Outreach consultations for the writing of the new constitution resume in Harare this weekend after being abandoned last month due to public violence, raising fears the Constitutional Select Committee (COPAC) will not be able to produce a new document within the prescribed timeframe.

But officials at the LSZ told VOP on Wednesday said they were due to formally present their constitution model to COPAC Co-chairpersons Douglas Mwonzora (MDC T), Paul Munyaradzi Mangwana (Zanu PF) and Edward Mkhosi Ndlovu (MDC M) on Friday for their perusal and possible incorporation to the final document intended to lead to fresh elections.

“It’s a model constitution which takes account of the best practices of constitution-making, regionally and international,” said Wilbert Mandinde, a deputy secretary at LSZ.

“We have also taken into account all existing drafts, that is, the rejected Constitutional Commission document, the National Constitutional Assembly draft, the Kariba Draft and the Lancaster House document,” said Mandinde, adding that the lawyers’ pressure group had been working on a model constitution for Zimbabwe for more than a year.

He said the model constitution would be commissioned on Friday night.

“It is how a constitution should look like. We will be handing it over to COPAC officials as well as the minister of Constitutional Affairs, Eric Matinenga,” added Mandinde.

Zimbabwe’s constitution making process has been bedevilled by political violence and intimidation as supporters of Zanu (PF) and the two formations of the MDC vie to impose views and opinions of their respective parties in the envisaged new supreme law of the land to replace the current Lancaster House document which has been amended 19 times