Constitutional Issues >> read
In order to build secure foundations for a democratic state for a country like Zimbabwe, issues that need to be tackled are: the founding principle of the state; a bill of rights; devolution of political power to the provinces; proportional representation; election of the country’s President and Prime Minister, and creation of a National Executive Authority.
(a) Founding Principles of a Democratic State are:
i. Respect for the inherent dignity and worth of human person;\ ii. Supremacy of the constitution and rule of law; iii. Respect, promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms; iv. Citizens the supreme authority of the state; v. Principle of equal rights; vi. Devolution of political power; vii. Peace and national unity; viii. Multiparty system of governance and regular, free and fair elections based on adult suffrage.
(b) Bill of Rights
Incorporate, not by reference but by inclusion of the following:
i. UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948; ii. African Charter of Human Peoples’ Rights; and iii. SADC Basic Human Rights Protocols and Instruments. These instruments, to which Zimbabwe has subscribed through participation in relevant international forums, should be domesticated in order to serve as benchmarks for human rights alongside national aspirations for human dignity and security.
(c) Devolution of Power to the Provinces
Excessive centralization built on the colonial "control" model has enabled the construction of an extensive patronage system in which political connection became an economic tool for the post-independence elite. ZAPU will remove the stranglehold of bureaucratic centralization, and work for devolution of political power and requisite economic responsibility to five viable provinces: Manicaland, Mashonaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland, and Midlands.
Devolution of Power to the Provinces means the following:
i. Provinces to have their own government elected by the people in the Provinces; ii. Provincial government to have control over natural resources and environmental issues within its geographical jurisdiction; iii. Provinces to have Provincial Parliamentary Assembly; iv. Provinces to have Provincial Judiciary system; v. Provinces to have their own Provincial revenue raising system; vi. People in the Provinces to be responsible for their economic, social, cultural and political development.
(d) Proportional Representation and the First-Past-the-Post
Proportional representation will be used at the national level, because it promotes the right to participate in the governance of one’s country. It accommodates diverse interests and promotes consensus. It enhances power sharing and allegiance to the political order of the day by leaders of different political parties because they have a stake in the arrangement.
The first-past-the-post electoral system will be used in the election of members of the Provincial Parliament/Assembly. It is important to ensure direct representation and accountability at the local level.
(e) Election of Country’s President, Prime Minister and Creation of National Executive Authority
The National Assembly (Parliament) which will be elected through a proportional representation system will elect the President. The President after consultation with leaders of political parties in Parliament will appoint the Prime Minister. The national Executive Authority will include President, Deputy President, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister and the Governors of the 5 Provinces. The National Executive Authority will be the supreme decision making body of Zimbabwe.
Its duties will be as follows:
a. Advise the President on the meaning and implication of old and new legislation before he signs it into law; b. Advise the President on all matters of national interest and concern; and c. Advise the President on all senior national government Appointments, including appointments of people to constitutionally entrenched institutions
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