Constitution Making Under Governments of National Unity: The Zimbabwean Case 2009- 2013
By Tobias Guzura
Constitutions are the bedrock of democratic governance in the contemporary world and any state claiming democratic credentials needs to base its claims on a good constitution and positive constitutionalism. In the period from 2009 to 2013, Zimbabwe was ruled by a negotiated Government of National Unity (GNU). The government, a result of inconclusive presidential elections in 2008 was tasked with writing a new constitution to take the country out of the crisis that it has undergone since the turn of the century. The GNU duly set upon this task and wrote the constitution which was passed by parliament in May 2013. Against this background, this paper seeks to analyze the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) driven constitutional making process. Using a qualitative methodology based on participant observation and document analysis, the paper shows that the process was fraught with irregularities and ushered in a negotiated constitution in place of the initially touted people driven constitution. Thus, the paper intends to reveal the pitfalls of a negotiated constitution making process. The paper concludes that in a transitional period, people driven constitution making is at the least too ambitious and at the worst totally unfeasible. 1
Keywords: Constitution, Zimbabwe, COPAC, government of national unity, constitution making, ZANU (PF), MDC
Pastoralism, Social Protection and Vision 2030 in Kenya: Possibilities and Prospects
By Maurice N. Amutabi, Ph. D∗
This paper is based on research which investigated the availability of social protection structures and institutions among pastoralists in northern Kenya. Social protection, which consists of policies and programs designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by promoting efficient labor markets, diminishing people's exposure to risks, and enhancing their capacity to protect themselves against hazards and interruption/loss of income is something that northern Kenya needs. The paper faults Vision 2030 and suggests mechanisms and ways in which pastoralists can be incorporated in Kenya’s development more meaningfully. The argument is that Vision 2030 has not addressed the plight of pastoralists in political, economic and social realms, in ways that would integrate them into the national, regional and global market. The paper argues that with ICT and introduction of cell phones in rural areas, pastoralists are part of the global market place and that they are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of selling and offloading herds at an advantage, before drought sets in. Pastoralists in Kenya seem ready to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century. And the government of Kenya needs to deploy social protection strategies to protect them from various social, economic, political and environmental hazards and calamities.2
Nigeria’s Retirement Pension System and Elderly Poverty
By Tonyesima Furro, Ph.D.
This study examines the nature of Nigeria’s contributory retirement pension system. It shows that the government took monthly payroll deductions from the incomes of retirees and deposited in said retirement funds. Prior to retirement, retirees would receive a severance package of a lump-sum payment of a few months to a few years’ earnings. They were assured that their regularly scheduled monthly disbursement would be remitted to their designated bank accounts. But due to the cumbersome bureaucratic procedures, many pension claimants were unsuccessful in receiving their benefits before death. The study reveals that the nation’s pension administration system is characterized by massive fraud, corruption and misappropriation of funds earmarked for elderly disbursement. The study also shows that pension managers and ruling elites set up thousands of ghost pensioners to defraud the system. Pension officials used the alleged retired workers that never existed to draw other retirees’ disbursements or gratuity for their personal gain. The study concludes that abject poverty of elderly retirees in Nigeria is partly due to the non-payment of their earned entitlements.3
Keywords: retirement; pension; elderly poverty; benefits; entitlements; misappropriation; embezzlement; corruption
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