Wednesday, March 10, 2010

By Media and Publications Officer

In a rare moment of unity, togetherness and purposefulness, political parties operational in Matabeleland converged together to come up with a common regional position on the constitution courtesy of the Habakkuk Trust constitutional sector meeting.

The meeting that was held at the Habakkuk Trust Umkhankaso Centre on Friday 5 March 2010 had regional representatives from both factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC and MDC-T), Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), United People’s Party (UPP) and Patriotic Union of Matabeleland (PUMA).
Of commonality from all the parties was devolution of power, which they said is non-negotiable, and should be enshrined in the constitution. Other issues that strongly resonated from all the parties were issues to do with limited powers of the executive, clear separation of powers in the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. They also agreed that the tenure of office for the presidency should be a maximum of two terms and each term should be five years.

Minor differences, however, were evident on the kind of legislature, as some preferred a bi-cameral system and others were of the one house parliament where the senate is abolished as they said it is a strain to the fiscal resources. There were also some minor differences on the electoral systems to be used though the majority of them opted for proportional representation and only MDC-T preferred what they termed the hybrid system which is a mixture of both proportional representation and first past the post system.

The Habakkuk Trust sector meetings on the constitution continue today (09 March 2010) with a sector meeting for Councilors which is expected to be attended by all Councilors from the City of Bulawayo and will focus more on systems of government.

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