A huge milestone in Zimbabwe’s recovery process

03 Jun 2013

 Consultation meeting on Zimbabwe’s constitution making, organized by the Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC) in January 2011. The COPAC process culminated in the production of a draft constitution which was passed in the March referendum. Photo: UNDP Zimbabwe

Over the past couple of years, there has been a lot of progress in Zimbabwe in terms of economic recovery, taming inflation and progress in the social sectors – with improvements in education and health.

Accepted by a huge majority of the 3 million people who voted in the March referendum, Zimbabwe's new constitution is a huge milestone in this overall recovery process.

The constitution is expected to provide the basis for the upcoming electoral process, which we hope will lead to the creation of a new government and usher Zimbabwe towards full recovery and development. The document is now slated to go to parliament where it will require two thirds of the vote to pass.

The constitution-making process in Zimbabwe is one the major undertakings of the government formed in the wake of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), signed by the different political parties after the disputed elections of 2008. 

The process of drafting the constitution was innovative in itself because it was people-driven. In the process of preparing the document, more than 5,000 meetings were held and close to one million people consulted, incorporating a wide spectrum of views into the text.

Along the way, excellent opportunities were created for various actors to come together, overcome challenges and find workable solutions to their problems. 

For UNDP, the first critical element was to make sure the process itself was strongly driven by our national partners.

Secondly, a project board was established, providing a very practical and transparent platform where actionable measures on the project were debated, reviewed and approved. Finally, as needed and requested, UNDP brought in high-caliber technical advisers who provided technical expertise and shared lessons from other constitution-making processes.

The constitution provides a solid blueprint upon which the development of the country can be built.  We are very hopeful that the country is now poised to take advantage of this momentum to develop and implement policies that will further advance inclusive economic growth and will continue to support and promote this agenda in the near future. 


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