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‘Crafting new constitution a complex process’

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SPEAKER of the House of Assembly Jacob Mudenda has said crafting constitutions that answer to aspirations of the people and inculcating a culture of constitutionalism required a deep understanding of the connection between the body politic and the State.

By Phyllis Mbanje

Addressing delegates at a recent conference to measure the progress on the implementation of the Constitution, Mudenda said recognising the part played by the public simplified the constitution-making.

“By acknowledging the centrality of the people, it becomes easier to develop constitutionalism that is anchored on and loyal to a nation’s history and political economy,” Mudenda said.

“There is a copious amount of commentary that indicates that a country can have a façade constitution without constitutionalism. This points to a disjuncture between theory and practice.”

Mudenda said the country was governed on the basis of the principles of constitutionalism but a diachronic analysis of constitutional development in Zimbabwe depicted three distinct phases.

“These phases are marked by politically contradictory contexts thus not complying with the evolutionary linear progression associated with politically stable societies,” he said.

Lately, there have been various calls to align pieces of laws to the new Constitution, but the government has cited lack of funding as the reason for dragging its feet.

Opposition parties and human right organisations have implored the government to hasten the process arguing that further delays would trivialise the whole process of coming up with a new Constitution.
At least 19 pieces of laws are yet to be realigned to the new Constitution.

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