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Mugabe to sign new Constitution into law today

by Staff reporter
22 May 2013 at 03:25hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mugabe is today expected to sign Constitutional Amendment (No. 20) Bill into law at State House at a function to be attended by Principals to the Global Political Agreement.

Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba confirmed the development yesterday.

"Once the signing is done, the document goes for gazetting and in terms of coming into force, there are two critical dates, the publication date and the effective date," he said.

The publication date is the day the Constitution is published in the Government Gazette.

The effective date is the day when the Constitution comes wholly into operation when the President-elect assumes office.

If signed into law, the new Constitution does not come into effect in its totality on the same day.

Some sections come into effect when the President-elect comes into office.

Its operation is segmented.

The sections of the new Constitution that come into effect on publication date include Chapter 3 which deals with citizenship, Chapter 4 (Declaration of Rights), Chapter 5 (Executive) Chapter 6 (Legislature).

Also to come into effect on publication date are portions of Chapter 7 which deals with elections, Chapter 8 (Judiciary and Courts), Chapter 9 (Principles of Public Administration and Leadership) and Chapter 14 (Provincial and Local Government).

Only a small portion of Chapter 11 that deals with the conduct of members of the security service comes into force on publication date.

Sections of the Constitution that come into effect when President-elect assumes office include Chapter 1 (Founding Values), Chapter 2 (National Objectives), Chapter 10 (Civil Service), Chapter 11 (remainder of larger part of security service), certain sections of Chapter 7, Chapter 12 (Independent Commissions except ZEC) and Chapter 13 (Institutions to Combat Corruption and Crime).

Other sections of the Constitution to have force on effective date when President-elect assumes office are Chapter 16 (Agricultural Land), Chapter 17 (Finance) and those dealing with issues to do with traditional leaders.

Expected to attend the signing of the Constitutional Bill into law are Vice President Joice Mujuru, Deputy Minister Thokozani Khupe and MDC leader Professor Welshman Ncube who  will attend the ceremony in his capacity as leader of the MDC.

Also expected to attend the event are members of the Copac Management Committee, Parliament as represented by Senate President Edna Madzongwe and her deputy, Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo and his deputy, Clerk of Parliament Mr Austin Zvoma, Copac members (26), Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Patrick Chinamasa, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet and his deputy and Attorney General's office.

The Judiciary Service Commission, Public Service Commission and Health Service Board officials, Chiefs' Council members and representatives from the United Nations Development Programme will also be in attendance.

The signing of the Constitution Bill into law is expected to pave way for the holding of harmonised elections this year.

It also brings the curtain down on a Constitution - making process which was moving at a snail pace taking over three years to complete.

The Constitution-making process started in 2009, a couple of months after the signing of the Global Political Agreement that gave birth to the inclusive Government.

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Source - herald