‘New charter different from Lancaster Constitution’

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The new constitution will be different from the Lancaster House Constitution which paved way for the holding of general elections in 1980, Copac has said.

The three Copac co-chairpersons — Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF), Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) and Edward Mkhosi (MDC) — said the draft governance charter for Zimbabwe would be ready on Friday.

Mwonzora told journalists the new constitution would have a more comprehensive Bill of Rights as compared to the Lancaster House Constitution.

“It will clearly spell out checks and values of separation of powers and will have national objectives within the values as well as term limits for the leadership,” he said. “All these were not in the Lancaster House Constitution and so this will be a qualitative document.”

Mangwana concurred, saying: “The Lancaster House Constitution was a ceasefire document which was not taken to the people, yet this one is going to contain the views of the people. The new constitution will tell you that we have a country which has a history and people have certain aspirations and values as compared to the Lancaster House Constitution, which does not talk about that.

“The people of Zimbabwe said unequivocally in all 10 provinces that they wanted a President who will serve for only two terms — and that we are going to respect. The draft is going to have a clause that says a President for Zimbabwe shall serve for two five-year terms. Any constitution made directly with a particular individual in mind certainly will not receive any support.”