Draft constitution contentious issues explained

HARARE – Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Advocate Eric Matinenga says he believes the final draft of the proposed new constitution is a good piece of legislation which conforms to international best practices.

Advocate Matinenga made the remarks while briefing the media on some of the most contentious issues that had been presented in the drafting of the new constitution.

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View the final draft of the new constitution here

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He expressed belief that if a referendum is conducted, the draft will sail through.

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According to the draft constitution, the office of the Presidency and other Public Office will be limited to two terms.

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Presidential candidates shall follow the system of nominating two running mates who will automatically become vice to the winner and shall succeed in the case of death or eventualities to the head of state, putting to rest succession disputes.

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The House of Assembly will have 66 seats reserved for women legislators, while Senate will be on proportional representation.

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The Bill of Rights has been expanded from the current political and civil rights, to include economic, social, cultural and environmental spheres.

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The death penalty shall not be handed down to women, while men aged 70 years and above shall not be executed, with the penalty only applying in cases of aggravated murder.

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The draft constitution also provides that any person born in Zimbabwe shall automatically be a citizen.

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What is left is for the parties and principals to determine whether they are agreeable to the positions in the draft to allow the holding of a referendum.

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