Drafting of a proposed new constitution for Zimbabwe began on Monday with the Parliamentary Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) leading the process.
Indications are the draft will be complete in early January.
A referendum to gauge its public acceptability will be held after which a general election will be called, regardless of whether or not a new constitution is in place.
Addressing the Press, COPAC co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) said the three drafters had been briefed on their terms of reference.
“The three principal drafters, Justice Moses Chinhengo, Mrs Priscilla Madzonga and Mr Brian Crozier got their brief and terms of reference from Copac on the 28th of November to begin their work on December 5.
“They will also be working in close consultation with the Select Committee and 17 technical experts.
“The much-awaited drafting process will take at least 35 days from the date of commencement,” he said.
Justice Chinhengo sat at the Harare High Court before taking up a similar post in Botswana.
Madzonga is in private practice with experience spanning over 20 years, while Crozier is a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and worked at the Attorney-General’s Office as director of legal drafting.
Mwonzora said, “The drafters come at a time when a lot of preliminary work for drafting has been done by COPAC, some of which, includes the adoption of a framework for drafting as well as identifying constitutional issues.”
He said there were some outstanding constitutional issues that had not been agreed on but was optimistic that a resolution would be reached soon.
The issues constitute about 20 percent of matters to be sent for drafting and include citizenship, the death penalty, the AG’s role and systems of governance.
ZANU-PF’s COPAC co-chairperson Paul Mangwana said after production of the draft they would have an all-stakeholders conference and then notify Parliament of the results.
A referendum will follow three months later.