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Work on Zimbabwe's New Constitution Again Halts; Parties Dispute Method

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party has insisted on a so-called quantitative method in which a position is weighted by the number of times it was mentioned in public hearings

The much-interrupted and often disputed process of revising Zimbabwe's constitution came to a halt again this week as the country's three co-governing parties clashed for a second time on the method that should be used to compile public comment collected in 2010.

President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party insists on a so-called quantitative method in which a position is weighted by the number of times it was mentioned in public hearings. But the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wants a qualitative approach taking an overview of the data. It also says ZANU-PF was manipulating the public outreach process through coaching and intimidation.

Douglas Mwonzora, co-chairman for the Tsvangirai MDC formation of the parliamentary select committee in charge of revising the constitution told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the stalemate has been referred to the management committee which incorporates negotiators for each of the three parties in government.

ZANU-PF Co-Chairman Paul Mangwana said disputes over methodology were hindering progress on the constitutional revision. Sources said ZANU-PF, which has been pushing for new elections this year, wants a draft constitution to be completed by the time the Southern African Development Community holds its next summit in August in Angola.

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