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Civic Group Urges Halt to Zimbabwean Constitutional Revision Process

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Zimbabwe's non-governmental National Constitutional Assembly called on the government and parliament Monday to halt the official constitutional revision process, warning it will urge voters to reject any constitution written by politicians and not "people-driven."

NCA Chairman Lovemore Madhuku told delegates the official constitutional revision process is undemocratic and defective and will therefore produce a flawed document.

Madhuku said the NCA and allied groups including the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and the Zimbabwe National Students Union will not let politicians rewrite the constitution.

From Harare, correspondent Irwin Chifera of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported.

Political analyst Farai Maguwu, director of the Center for Research and Development, said he and staff of his Mutare-based institute attended the NCA's "people's convention" as well as the recent stakeholders conference called by the the parliamentary select committee assigned to oversee the constitutional reform process under last year's power-sharing agreement.

Maguwu told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that it is healthy for Zimbabwean democracy for both groups to hold parallel and competing conferences.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary select committee on constitutional reform is seeking prosecution of those responsible for the disruption of a July 13 stakeholders meeting in Harare.

Committee Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora said his panel is drawing on video footage of the meeting and has also compiled a list of people injured during the melee.

Mwonzora told Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that prosecution of those responsible for the disturbance will show that the law is not being applied selectively.

Press reports have laid the disruption at the doorstep of Zimbabwe War Veterans Association Vice Chairman Joseph Chinotimba, Deputy Science and Technology Minister Patrick Zhuwao, a nephew of President Robert Mugabe and Youth Minister Saviour Kasukwere.

Reached by VOA for comment on such reports, Kasukuwere denied the allegations and said the chaos was the result of poor planning by the event's organizers.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...