The first draft for Zimbabwe’s new constitution could be ready by end of the year or early next year, constitutional and parliamentary affairs minister Advocate Eric Matinenga has said.
“I am happy to say at the end of this year or very early next year, we should have a draft constitution,” Matinenga said.
Matinenga said the constitutional outreach meetings were nearing completion.
“Barring any unforeseen problems, we are on course to finish the outreach at the end of September or the first week of October,” he said.
He said after the data gathering stage, thematic committees would meet to analyse the information from the outreach meetings.
“The analysed information will thereafter be placed before the legal drafters, who will come up with a draft constitution document,” he said.
The draft constitution would then be tabled to a second All Stakeholders Conference before it is brought to Parliament for deliberation.
According to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) the draft constitution should be tabled to the second All Stakeholders Conference within three months of completion of the public consultation process.
The draft and the accompanying report from the stakeholders’ conference would then be presented to Parliament within one month of the conference.
Parliament would have no more than a month to conclude debate on the draft before it is gazetted and sent to a referendum.
The GPA instructs that the referendum should be held within three months of the gazetting of the draft.
“In the event of the draft Constitution being approved in the referendum, it shall be gazette within one month of the date of the referendum and the draft shall be introduced in Parliament no later than one month after the expiration of the period of 30 days from the date of its gazetting,” Article VI of the GPA dictates.
A new constitution is one of the key conditions for the holding of fresh elections that would bring to an end the life of the shaky coalition government that has been dogged with power grappling and fighting since its inception one-and-half years ago.