Public participation in the constitution making process in Zimbabwe (2009-2010)

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dc.contributor.author Shonhe, Toendepi
dc.date.accessioned 2012-10-04T07:05:58Z
dc.date.available 2012-10-04T07:05:58Z
dc.date.issued 2012-10-04
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/12022
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which participatory deliberative democracy is being practised in the constitution making process in Zimbabwe. The nature of public participation determines the character, quality and extent of consultations and democratic deliberation in policy formulation Constitution making has inescapably remained an ‘unfinished business’ in Zimbabwe as a consequence of the Lancaster House settlement of 1979. Yet, a national constitution is a biography of the nation, whose crafting must embody legitimacy and credibility. This research sought to examine the processes available for public participation for constitution making in Zimbabwe. The research focused on the constitution making process as a case study against the background of a partocratic policy making system that existed since 1980, and the advent of the Inclusive Government consummated on 13 February 2009 whose policy making architecture is premised on the GPA. The central question of this study was: “What processes are being used to secure deliberative democratic participation in the constitution design process in Zimbabwe? The research relied on documentary evidence, the researcher’s experience and observations as well as targeted semistructured interviews on public participation in the constitution making process in Zimbabwe for data collection, as a case study. The researcher relied on secondary data from published and unpublished literature and tracked newspaper publications to gather data related to the constitution making process. The researcher also visited and observed some of the Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) outreach meetings to gather information relating to the quality of deliberation at the meetings. The main findings were that the COPAC structure did not adequately provide a framework for delivering deliberative democracy as political parties retained decision making at stages of the process. The research concluded that political parties, the Executive and Parliament, dominated the process. Participation was cosmetic and “Executo-partocratic driven” rather than a “people-driven” process. The prevalence of citizen harassment and intimidation as well as the occurrence of violence during the consultative process hampered meaningful participation in deliberative processes by citizens. Similarly the inauspicious operating environment discouraged the free flow of information and debate, alienating citizen views and limiting deliberative participatory democracy. In the main, the policy making approach adopted was ‘Executo-partocratic’ and as such limited the citizens participation in equal, open and free deliberation resulting in a process that lacked legitimacy and credibility. en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.subject Constitution en_ZA
dc.subject Democracy en_ZA
dc.subject Zimbabwe en_ZA
dc.subject Policy formulation en_ZA
dc.subject Political parties en_ZA
dc.title Public participation in the constitution making process in Zimbabwe (2009-2010) en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA


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