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Constitution debate lacks clear foresight

WHILE preserving our sovereignty and territorial integrity should be an essential part of our constitution, it is only but a part of it. The constitution should be holistic and not pander only to one element.
I am also concerned by the obsession by politicians as well as the media with the issue of presidential powers.

The constitution-making process has been reduced to a debate about an individual and not about real issues. The only pertinent issue, it seems, is whether we should retain the status quo or strip the powers of the president.

Both sides of the divide have failed to project a long-term perspective about where they want to see the country going considering that should be the basis for making a constitution.

Considering President Mugabe’s advanced age, it is foolhardy to continue to think of him being always at the helm of Zimbabwean politics. Despite Mugabe and his surrogates’ attempt to deny the obvious, age has taken its toll on him and we should be looking at how we want to be governed in a post-Mugabe era.

The values encapsulated in the new constitution should be what we, as a people, envision our society to be like centuries from now. The Americans still refer to the constitution written in 1787 by that nation’s founding fathers.

They still abide by the precepts entrenched 225 years ago which have guided them on their way to becoming the most powerful nation in the world.

They sought not only to address the specific challenges facing the nation during their lifetimes, but to establish the foundational principles that would sustain and guide the new nation into an uncertain future.

That is why it is such a critical document and why it should not be crafted with only present circumstances in mind. It should reflect the diversity of our hopes, aspirations and dreams as a people.


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