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Civic Groups in Matabeleland Say May Vote Against New Charter

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Civil society groups in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland region threatened Monday to campaign against the country's new draft constitution if the authorities proceed to drop major views collected from the public..

Of major concern to the more than 30 groups, is the issue of devolution that political parties in the coalition government seem to have agreed to drop out of the draft charter even though six of the country's 10 provinces supported the idea during the outreach process.

The groups met in Bulawayo Monday with constitutional experts to discuss the draft and the way forward.

The parliamentary select committee writing the constitution last week said parties in the unity government had agreed to keep provincial governors in the charter but they will have to be chosen by an electoral college.

Zanu PF strongly opposes devolution. Sources say President Robert Mugabe's party has managed to outwit and arm-twist colleagues into dropping devolution and other views raised by the ordinary people.

Bulawayo Agenda executive director Thabani Nyoni told VOA the civic groups will push the select committee to make sure people’s views are respected and included in the new constitution.