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Zimbabweans will on Saturday vote on a new constitution designed to underpin democratic reforms. Here are a few of the key points of the text:
- Limits presidents to two five-year terms.
- Strips away presidential immunity from prosecution after leaving office.
- Bolsters the power of parliament which will consist of 210 elected members and an additional 60 women lawmakers to be picked initially through a system of proportional representation.
- Partially abolishes death penalty for males aged below 21 and over 70 and for all females.
- Sets up a peace and reconciliation commission to take care of post-conflict justice and healing.
- Creates, for the first time, a Consitutional Court which would deal with governance abuse.
- Binds the police and the military to be impartial and forbids them from meddling in electoral issues.
- Reins in presidential influence on the appointment of members of the judiciary.
- Introduces devolution and decentralisation of power to enhance participation in decision making by citizens at local levels and ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources.
- Introduces a national prosecution authority that is de-linked from the attorney general who now becomes government's chief legal advisor.
- Compels a president to consult parliament in the event of military deployment to prevent undercover operations that may be linked to rights abuses.
- Introduces redress for victims of violence and intimidation to seek and get protection.
- Protects people against malicious arrests and prosecution.
- Compels courts to deal with electoral disputes within 14 days.
- Guarantees separation of powers between the executive, legislature and the judiciary.
- Guarantees free, fair and regular elections; and for citizens to freely make political choices.
- States that farmland seized from whites and handed to black farmers under a controversial land reform cannot be legally contested.
- Recognises 16 languages spoken in the country, including sign language.
- Outlaws same sex marriages.