By Mirembe Martina
The new constitution which reinstated the presidential terms in Zimbabwe also allows President Mugabe ten more years as the president.
If he wins the next presidential elections, President Mugabe will be the first president, in Africa, to rule till he is 100 years of age.
The new constitution, which is still a draft and has yet to be voted on by Parliament and Zimbabweans allows Mugabe to contest in the next Presidential elections. “The draft constitution will go to Parliament early February and it will go to a referendum,” Constitutional Affairs minister Eric Matinenga said.
On when the voting on the new constitution will be, Matinenga said it will take time. “The referendum date is something that is going to be agreed in consultation with the principals (Mugabe and Tsvangirai),” he said.
Among other things, the draft constitution retains the death penalty saying, “a law may permit the death penalty to be imposed only on a person convicted of murder committed in aggravating circumstances”, prohibits the death penalty for women and people under 21 years and over 70.
Mugabe is insisting on new presidential elections in March although his opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai wants reforms first to allow for fair and violence-free polls. The new law allows for Mugabe to rule for other ten years which will see him rule to 100 years.