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Zimbabwe Constitutional Minister Hails Mugabe Pledge to Heed Popular Will


Zimbabwean Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga said Wednesday that he welcomed President Robert Mugabe's promise earlier this week that the views of all the people will be considered in the process of revising the national constitution.

Mr. Mugabe made the that pledge in remarks Tuesday upon the opening of the second session of Parliament. The president said thematic committees will “garner the views of all our people for consideration” as the constitution is revised with a deadline in late 2010.

Controversy has dogged the revision process, however, in particular over whether the new basic document should substantially incorporate the multi-party Kariba draft of 2007 as Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF wants, or if framers should simply pick and choose from that version.

Constitutional Affairs Minister Matinenga told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Mr. Mugabe confirmed the position his ministry has adopted which is that Zimbabweans should have full freedom in fashioning their new constitution.

Some civic organizations led by the National Constitutional Assembly have vowed to campaign for a "No" vote in an eventual referendum on the new constitution, holding that the process should have been led and controlled by an independent commission, not politicians.

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

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