Is it possible to make a shift from a centralised to a truly multi-ethnic and decentralised understanding of the Zimbabwean nation? The African country seems ready to explore a new national path after a new Constitution has been drafted by the Constitution Parliamentary Committee (COPAC). The final version of the text was adopted in January 31st, and the date of a referendum on its ratification is expected for 2013.
The new Constitution is supported by the two largest parties in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC. If finally adopted, the text could mark a milestone in Zimbabwe’s history, since for the first time ever presidential powers will be somewhat limited. It also opens the door to the establishment of a decentralised state, including the devolution of legislative and executive powers to provincial and metropolitan councils. As usual in other African states, a “cultural” and “customary” role will be given to traditional leaders. Continue reading