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Zimbabwe's New Constitution To Allow For Dual Citizenship

The Management Committee of Zimbabwe's Parliamentary Select Committee tasked with writing a new constitution says it will complete its final draft this week for onward transimission to the principals.

COPAC sources told VOA that they have agreed on all outstanding issues. The draft allows for dual citizenship for Zimbabweans by birth and not by descent. The death penalty still remains for murder with aggravating circumstances.

The parties have also agreed on the controversial issue of devolution. The country will also now have a constitutional court and adopting the American system in electing presidents in that a candidate for president must contest election with first vice president candidate, so both are elected.

COPAC met Tuesday taking advantage of the absence of president Robert Mugabe who is in Singapore for medical treatment as there was no cabinet meetingTuesday. Matinenga told VOA that they expect to complete the draft this week as they have made significant progress.

Dewa Mavhinga, a lawyer and Regional Director for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition told VOA that the constitution must reflect the views of the people.

Chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly and University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Lovemore Madhuku says the copac document is a political compromise "poaching" a lot of material from the Kariba draft.

The Kariba draft was a compromise document drafted by the three political parties and initialled on 30 September 2007 to minimize the possibility of a contested election result in 2008.