New constitution must protect Zimbabweans

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MOST Zimbabweans believe that the proposed new constitution should protect the country’s heritage by paving the way for their total control of the country’s land and natural resources. A survey carried by The Patriot this week revealed that Zimbabweans view land and control of their country’s economy as key to both their and national development. They said the only way the country could move forward was when the majority were in control of the resources so that they could begin talking of secondary issues like democracy. Roderick Mashingaidze from Gweru said the national constitution should be reflective of the national values of the majority in that it must inculcate the ideas and ideals that are not alien in nature, but ones that are indigenous. He said the constitution should protect both the cultural and religious values of Zimbabweans so that they are firmly in charge of their destiny. “There is no doubt that survival of the majority is the real issue in any nation and this survival is brought about by the protection they get from the constitution,” he said. “As a result the national constitution must be reflective of the national values of the people because it will have to inculcate the ideas and ideals synonymous with their day to day lives. “Issues to do with our resources, both natural and otherwise, should be placed first and they must be protected by the constitution for generations to come.” Harare Polytechnic Mass Communication student, Spanyoge Madziwa said the new constitution should protect critical issues and institutions like land as they form the basis for the maintenance of the country’s sovereignty. “Our sovereignty which is premised on the land issue must be protected by the new constitution and issues like control and ownership of the land and natural resources are non-negotiable since the country was fought for,” he said. Director of Forward Women Support Network, an organisation that deals with the empowerment of women in the apostolic sects, Tendai Muvuti said, it was crucial for the constitution to ensure that Zimbabweans were the sole beneficiaries of the indigenisation programme. “I lived in the United Kingdom for seven years and I can tell you that they only care about empowering their citizens and nothing else and it is in that regard that Zimbabwean women be given priority in the programme,” said Muvuti. Sentiments were echoed by Shupikai Munyoro of Warren Park who said the fundamental rights of women should be recognised along the lines of economic empowerment so that they also enjoy the full benefits of their country’s economy. Abishoni Jonga of Mt Darwin said the process of completing the constitution should be accelerated so that the country could go for elections as soon as possible. He said there were issues such as land that could not be debated since they were the reason Zimbabweans took up arms. Zimbabwe is currently engaged in the process of coming up with a new constitution as part of the implementation of the Global Political Agreement between ZANU PF and the two MDC formations.

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