COPAC releases principles guiding drafting of new constitution


The three co-chairs of the Constitutional Select Committee have released a document setting out the 26 constitutional principles guiding the drafting of the country’s new constitution.

The new constitution and a referendum will lead to elections which now appear can only be in 2013 when the current term of parliament ends.

There has already been a lot of speculation on the contents of the new constitution with reports that it bars President Robert Mugabe from standing but experts say this is not the case.

Below are the guiding principles:


List of Constitutional Principles

The following are the constitutional principles guiding the drafting of the new constitution for Zimbabwe:

  1. Supremacy of the constitution
  2. Recognition of Zimbabwe’s liberation, democracy, sovereignty of the state and its people
  3. Recognition of the principle of separation of powers
  4. Recognition of land and natural resources as belonging to all Zimbabweans
  5. The constitution should contain mechanisms of redressing colonial imbalances in the distribution of natural resources including land
  6. The new constitution must ensure the maintenance of unity, in diversity, peace, stability, security and prosperity for all the people of Zimbabwe
  7. Recognition of the rule of law, good governance and democracy
  8. Recognition that power to rule and govern must be derived from the authority of the people
  9. The recognition of fundamental human rights
  10. All organs of the state to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights and freedoms spelt out in the Bill of Rights
  11. Recognition of the principle of decentralisation
  12. Recognition of the principle of devolution of power
  13. Recognition of gender equality and gender mainstreaming in all spheres of governance
  14. The recognition of the rights of children, the youth, the disabled, women, workers and vulnerable groups
  15. The recognition of universal adult suffrage
  16. The recognition of the importance of an electoral system that guarantees regular, free and fair and effective elections that ensure adequate representation of the electorate
  17. Recognition of the importance of Bill of Rights by entrenching it in the constitution and its justiciability
  18. Recognition of the principle of checks and balances among the levels of government and the Arms of the State
  19. Recognition of the need for equitable resource sharing mechanisms
  20. Recognition of the rights of racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious and political minorities
  21. That the management of public finances should be informed by transparency, responsiveness, accountability, responsibility, integrity and equity
  22. All arms of state must uphold the principles of democracy and good governance
  23. Recognition of the principle of constitutional transition and orderly transfer of power
  24. All Arms of State must uphold the constitution, respect human rights, be non-partisan and professional
  25. The constitution must recognise the diversity of languages, customary practices and traditions and must seek to protect and promote these
  26. The institution, status and role of traditional leadership, according to indigenous law, shall be spelt out and recognised in the constitution


Signed by Hon MP Mangwana, Co-chair; Hon DT Mwonzora, Co-chair; Hon ET Mkhosi, Co-chair.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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