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Mugabe Says Constitutional Referendum Only After Bottlenecks Are Cleared

  • Thomas Chiripasi

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said Monday a referendum on the proposed new constitution will only be conducted when the ruling parties agree on all contentious issues in the draft document.

Addressing thousands of people who gathered for the Heroes' Day holiday in Harare, Mr. Mugabe said foreign values should not be smuggled into the charter, adding that all bottle-necks should be cleared before a referendum.

Like Christmas, we marked heroes day in various ways. There are times when some families don't buy Christmas trees and this doesn't mean that they are not celebrating Christmas ...
The two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations, sharing power with Zanu PF, have endorsed the draft in its current form saying there was an incremental gain in some democtratic principles and in the protection of human rights although the parties argue that they have their own reservations on many clauses.

On the other hand, Zanu PF has maintained that it is not happy with a number of issues in the draft document. The MDC formations claim that the document was agreed by all parties in July and as a result they will no longer engage in any further negotiations.

Reacting to President Mugabe's remarks, Nhlanhla Dube, spokesman for the MDC formation of Industry Minister Welshman Ncube said his party did not boycott heroes events held in various parts of the country.

"Like Christmas, we marked heroes day in various ways ... There are times when some families don't buy Christmas trees and this doesn't mean that theyare not celebrating Christmas ..."






Douglas Mwonzora of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC said President Mugabe’s remarks indicate that Zanu PF is afraid of the next crucial general elections.
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