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Constitution drafters named

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Copac has released the names of experts who will do the drafting of the new constitution.

One of the co-chairpersons representing Zanu PF Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana on Tuesday confirmed the three drafters of the new constitution were Justice Moses Chinhengo and lawyers Prisca Madzonga and Brian Grozier.

However, women’s groups, including the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, on Tuesday expressed concern they would like another female lawyer added into the drafting team to ensure pertinent issues affecting women, especially the 50/50 gender representation system, were clearly stipulated in the constitution.

Mangwana said Copac was considering getting a fourth person into the drafting team.

“We are trying to get a fourth person in the drafting team who is a woman, but we are not only looking for a female, but a person with the right skills in constitutional drafting,” said Mangwana.

“Drafting is expected to begin at the end of this month,” he said.

Meanwhile, Copac on Tuesday engaged constitutional experts from Kenya and Ghana to share their experiences with them before embarking on the drafting stage.

The co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) said it was important to exchange notes with these countries as they had recently reviewed their constitutions.

“The experts will discuss deadlock breaking mechanisms during drafting, as well as deal with other contentious issues that might be experienced when drafting,” Mwonzora said.

One of the experts, Kwamena Ahwoi from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, said advice from Kenya and Ghana was imperative at this stage since the constitution that Zimbabwe was making should focus on the future.

“The drafters should be able to anticipate problems in the future, for instance, problems such as that the government might change as one candidate loses and leaves office for a new one. Drafters should deal with issues such as how the constitution should ensure continuity of plans and projects by the past government,” said Ahwoi.

“Drafters should ensure they provide for a smooth transition of power because if that provision is not there in the constitution, members of the old government may be humiliated by the new government, or the old government may not concede defeat,” he said.

Ahwoi said it was also important for the new constitution to deal with the issue of the electoral management body to ensure it was strong enough not to be manipulated.

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