The Constitution Making Process

Jive IT, The People's Constitution


Seven constitution concerts were held between the months of November and December in different parts of Zimbabwe. At the core of the concerts was civic education on the constitution making process and how people can participate.

During a question and answer segment held at each show, participants were encouraged to speak out on what they would like to see in the new constitution. After collation, these views were included in a publication entitled Grassroots views on the constitution. Concerts were held in Harare, Chinhoyi, Mvuma, Chakohwa in the Marange area, Marondera, Chiredzi which had the largest turnout and in Bulawayo where it was called Siyagroova.

ZimRights seized the opportunity provided by the Global Political Agreement (GPA) Article VI to sensitise communities about the new people driven constitution. ZimRights distributed information as well as discussions on the process, such that people can participate fully in the process, with full knowledge of what the process is about. Having done this in a non-partisan approach, thousands of people turned up for the meetings and contributed their views freely. ZimRights compiled the "Grassroots views on the people driven constitution" document towards the end of 2009. It was evident that, throughout the country, people desire to see change and good governance based on genuine democratic principles and processes. The rule of law and the respect for human rights were also central in the people's demands. Some of the targeted areas included those that experienced violence and intimidation during the pre- and post election period of 2008, hence many people were unwilling to participate during COPAC meetings for fear of victimisation.

Informal consultations in communities were held with the objective of gathering people's views on contentious issues such as the constitution, national healing and the Global Political Agreement (GPA). On the constitution, people pointed out that they do not want political parties to lead the outreach process to prevent them from pushing political party positions. They went on to say that they want social and economic rights to be in the new document. Two terms for the president, and 75 years to be the age limit for the presidential candidate, in short on the constitution .On national healing process, the majority called for compensation and the law to take its course for there to be healing of the deep scars caused by violence during the pre and post election period of 2008.

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