Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Zimbabwe sets team to drive constitutional reforms
Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:23am EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Cris Chinaka
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe set up a parliamentary team Sunday to spearhead the writing of a new constitution which President Robert Mugabe's opponents say will be key to holding free and fair elections.
Critics say Mugabe, 85 and in power since independence from Britain in 1980, has used tough security and media laws to stifle opposition to his ZANU-PF party, and has rigged polls in the last 10 years to remain in office.
Sunday, Zimbabwe's Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo announced that a new unity government, which Mugabe formed with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February to try to break a post-election crisis, had assembled a 25-member parliamentary committee to lead the process of writing a new constitution.
The process would include consultations around the country, and the new constitution would have to be approved by a national referendum to be held by mid July next year, Moyo said.
In February 2000, Mugabe's government lost a referendum for a new constitution which Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said was meant to tighten ZANU-PF's grip on power.
Moyo said the new drive by ZANU-PF and the two wings of the MDC which dominate parliament was more inclusive and would lead to "a people-centered, inspired and democratic constitution."
"We commit ourselves to ensuring that the process will be as credible as possible," he said.
Political analysts say although there are tensions between Mugabe and Tsvangirai in the new unity government over rights abuses and continuing seizures of white-owned farms by ZANU-PF officials, the power-sharing agreement is likely to hold until the next elections, which are expected to be called in 2011.
Mugabe stoked tensions again at the weekend when he transferred the supervision of the telecommunication industry from MDC cabinet minister Nelson Chamisa to a ZANU-PF official.
"There are all these tensions, and we should expect to see quite a number in the coming months," said Eldred Masunungure, a political science professor at the University of Zimbabwe.
"But that announcement of the select committee on the constitutional issue is a demonstration that on the big issues, the (power-sharing) agreement is going to hold," he said.
"There are no viable alternative options for both the MDC and ZANU-PF outside this agreement," Masunungure said.
Moyo said the government was still working out a budget for the constitutional reform program, but appealed to foreign donors to give some support.
"Those who wish us well must come on board, and I know there is a lot of goodwill out there," he said.
The government has crafted a short-term emergency program to help revive an economy battered by ten years of contraction and hyperinflation under Mugabe's controversial policies. Continued...
View article on single page
New years' halt to Sri Lanka fighting: president
Also on Reuters
Blog: Who should get to buy discounted mortgages?
Commentary: Immigration can speed economic recovery
Financial crisis lights fire under publishers
More International News
Warships track U.S. hostage floating to Somalia
Thai ministry stormed after government declares emergency
Iran president dismisses demand to halt atom work: report
Pope calls for Israel-Palestinian peace at Easter
Italy quake survivors celebrate bitter Easter
More International News...
Zimbabwe shelves own currency for a year: report
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
WRAPUP 5-Warships track U.S. hostage floating to Somalia
Ship reaches Kenya; pirate lifeboat drifts toward land | Video
Warships track U.S. hostage floating to Somalia | Video
WRAPUP 8-Ship reaches Kenya; pirate lifeboat drifts toward land
Russia test-fires intercontinental missile
Thai protesters force Asia summit cancellation | Video
Wildfires destroy 2 Texas towns, kill 2 | Video
Karate expert kills two over lice infection
Steve Jobs maintains grip at Apple: report
Las Vegas trophy project becomes symbol of trouble
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Thailand state of emergecy lifted
Hostage captain hailed a hero
Pirates seize U.S tugboat
U.S. versus pirates
Iraq bomber targets Sunni militiamen
Thai PM flees ministry compound
Thai protesters turn violent
FBI to assist in talks with pirates
French pirate hostage killed
White House to get new First Dog
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
The Great Debate
Arabia's knowledge gap
Education is a tempting target for budget cutters in times of financial distress, but in the Arab world an education drive without parallel is taking place. Commentary
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.