WASHINGTON DC —
Lawyers representing the National Constitutional Assembly, NCA, on Tuesday filed an urgent High Court application seeking an extension of the March 16 referendum date that was gazetted only last Friday.
NCA’s lawyers from Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners said they handed over the application to the High Court and to President Robert Mugabe, who announced the date last week, as well as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which will administer the process.
Lawyer Andrew Makoni, representing the NCA said his client is arguing that the 30-day period between the announcement and the referendum is not enough for Zimbabweans to properly study the draft constitution and make an informed decision.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Select Committee on the constitution, better known as COPAC, said it cannot print enough copies of the full version of the draft constitution for everyone and is now printing a shorter version of the document.
COPAC co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC Tsvangirai formation said the cost of printing just one copy of the full version with 173 pages is too high, so the organization cannot afford to print a copy for everyone in the country.
Mr. Mwonzora said the summarised copies will be around 20 pages only and are expected to be out any time this week, with 500,000 copies printed so far.
COPAC has printed 90 000 copies of the full version, which were distributed to service centers around the country starting Monday.