Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs minister Eric Matinenga said the drafting process of the country’s new constitution will start on Monday next week.
Matinenga, however, could not give a time-frame of when the drafting process will be done only opting to say, “sometime next year”.
Speaking at an advocacy meeting at the Masvingo Civic Centre yesterday, the minister said it was all systems go for the drafting process, which he described as “complex” and time-consuming.
“The actual drafting process will start on Monday next week. We hope sometime next year, the process will be over.
“It will take time to come up with a draft as the process is long and complex,” he said.
He urged Zimbabweans to be patient as the drafters were aiming to do a proper job.
“People should be patient. Remember, this is a supreme legal document which should guide not only you, but even your great grandchildren in years to come.
They will refer to what you said and will be affected by the document that you yourselves would have created,” said Matinenga.
Since independence in 1980, Zimbabwe has been stuck with the Lancaster House Constitution which has undergone 19 amendments.
It has been likened to a cloth which has been patched up so many times that it cannot hold any more.
Matinenga urged Zimbabweans to accept the draft during the referendum.
“A ‘NO’ vote will mean that the country will resort to the Lancaster document.
“So let us consider the draft. You cannot pick and choose, but you have to accept the document as a whole,” he said.
He said it would be a waste of time if principals in the inclusive government push for elections without a new constitution.
“We had the GPA because of disputed elections. Of course the constitution (issue) seems to be separate from elections, but we agreed the constitution should be complete before the elections.
Holding an election before or after a new constitution is a political decision, but my view, as little as I am, is that it would be a waste of time to insist on polls before a new constitution,” he said.
Several Zanu PF MPs snubbed the event as they attended the party’s provincial congress at the Masvingo Polytechnic College where the party’s national commissar, Simon Khaya Moyo, was present.
Journalists from the private media were chucked out of the venue of the congress by Zanu PF youths who labelled them MDC-T party members.