Zimbabwe: A Sturdy Constitution or Just Indigestion?

Zimbabwe recently began to hold public hearings in the constitutional reform process mandated by the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed last September. According to the timeline laid out in the agreement brokered between the former majority party ZANU-PF, the current majority party MDC-T and splinter party MDC-M, a new constitution must be voted on by the Zimbabwe people in a referendum held around July 2010.

However, there is already disagreement as to how the process should unfold. According to the GPA, there are to be open hearing where input by the people is to shape the constitutional process before being ratified by Parliament and then sent to a vote by the people. However, the ZANU-PF party wants to use as a basis for the constitution a draft drawn up in September 2007 called the Kariba Draft. This document was negotiated by the three political parties. The MDC-T feels that this document should be scrapped and the process should start anew because the Kariba Draft was only meant to apply to the time frame of the last elections in March 2008; because ZANU-PF discarded the Kariba Draft in December 2007, the MDC feels the document has no legitimacy and therefore no basis from which to proceed.

Finally, civil society members in Zimbabwe feel that the voice of the people was silenced in both the Kariba Draft and the current proceedings and that stronger input is needed by the people of Zimbabwe for any new constitution to have legitimacy and truly reflect the will of the people. Considering the sacrifices members of civil society make every day to fight for civil and human rights, I think they more than anyone are in the best position to say which rights should be enshrined and protected in a document that will govern their lives and manage their peace. Either way, it looks like bumpy roads are still ahead in Zimbabwe.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

6 thoughts on “Zimbabwe: A Sturdy Constitution or Just Indigestion?

  1. It's not "Kabira", it's KARIBA! Please correct this gross distortion of our beautiful town, it's almost like calling New York "NEW KORK".

    This may have been a genuine mistake, but as an African journalist I can't help feeling deeply aggrieved by how westerners, particularly in the media, routinely get our names wrong and expect to get away with it, when such mistakes are unheard of when it comes to their own places and personalities. I was watching a BBC report some time back where an elocution expert was teaching viewers how to pronounce the name of the new Russian President Medvedev correctly. There was no such attempt to educate audiences on the correct pronunciation of Thabo Mbeki's successor in South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe.
    Somehow, it does not seem to matter to westerners when they get our names wrong! They expect us to live with it!

  2. It’s not “Kabira”, it’s KARIBA! Please correct this gross distortion of our beautiful town, it’s almost like calling New York “NEW KORK”.

    This may have been a genuine mistake, but as an African journalist I can’t help feeling deeply aggrieved by how westerners, particularly in the media, routinely get our names wrong and expect to get away with it, when such mistakes are unheard of when it comes to their own places and personalities. I was watching a BBC report some time back where an elocution expert was teaching viewers how to pronounce the name of the new Russian President Medvedev correctly. There was no such attempt to educate audiences on the correct pronunciation of Thabo Mbeki’s successor in South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe.
    Somehow, it does not seem to matter to westerners when they get our names wrong! They expect us to live with it!

  3. Noted. Thank you for catching my error. I know Kabira is a Nairobi township and Kariba is a town in Zimbabwe. It was just rushed sloppiness on my part and not paying close enough attention to the details. However, I will say that I will take getting corrected any day for making a sloppy transmogrifying error over getting scolded for the worse mistake of imposing Western values and cultural norms or just being flat wrong about the content. Considering you didn't take issue with anything else in the posting, I think overall I'm doing pretty well. :)

    Sarah

  4. Noted. Thank you for catching my error. I know Kabira is a Nairobi township and Kariba is a town in Zimbabwe. It was just rushed sloppiness on my part and not paying close enough attention to the details. However, I will say that I will take getting corrected any day for making a sloppy transmogrifying error over getting scolded for the worse mistake of imposing Western values and cultural norms or just being flat wrong about the content. Considering you didn’t take issue with anything else in the posting, I think overall I’m doing pretty well. :)

    Sarah

  5. Actually, the Nairobi slum is called Kibera :-)!
    And yes, you're doing very well on the content of your posts!

  6. Actually, the Nairobi slum is called Kibera :-)!
    And yes, you’re doing very well on the content of your posts!