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Zimbabwe Parliament Approves Constitutional Changes

  • VOA

Lawmakers in Zimbabwe have approved sweeping changes to the constitution. President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party rallied 103 votes -- more than the two-thirds needed to pass the amendments.

The bill now goes to President Mugabe to sign into law.

The revised constitution will bar white farmers from appealing the government's seizure of their farms.

The document also allows officials to confiscate the passports of people deemed a threat to national security, and creates a new upper house of parliament.

The overhaul has been condemned by the nation's leading white farmers union, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, and the Law Society of Zimbabwe.

The changes mark the 17th time Mr. Mugabe has altered the constitution since Zimbabwe won independence from Britain in 1980.