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Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF Mobilizes Supporters to Back As-Yet-Undrafted Constitution


Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe delivers a speech during the closing ceremony of the 30th Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Windhoek, Namibia, 17 Aug 2010

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe delivers a speech during the closing ceremony of the 30th Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Windhoek, Namibia, 17 Aug 2010

Vice President Joice Mujuru told supporters at a party conference Sunday in Bindura, Mashonaland Central province, that ZANU-PF loyalists must cast their ballots in favor of the new constitution

Though no draft of Zimbabwe's revised constitution as yet exists, President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party has started to mobilize its supporters to cast a "Yes" vote in favor of the overhauled basic document in the referendum which is likely to be held in the first part of next year.

Vice President Joice Mujuru told supporters at a party conference Sunday in Bindura, Mashonaland Central province, that ZANU-PF loyalists must cast their ballots in favor of the new constitution.

The National Constitutional Assembly, a non-governmental organization, has been campaigning for months for a "No" vote on grounds that the revision process as led by parliament and political parties is fatally flawed.

ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that the party is backing the draft though it has yet to be presented because it has been made by Zimbabweans for Zimbabweans.

Meanwhile, officials in charge of the revision process said the Zimbabwe Republic police through the Ministry of Home Affairs has made an undertaking to ensure that proper security measures will be in place when Harare outreach meetings canceled in September because of violence are rescheduled next weekend.

Co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Revision said the co-ministers of Home Affairs had guaranteed that security measures will be put in place, adding that investigations into the September violence are under way and that arrests are being made.

A supporter of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, Crispen Mandizvidza, died of injuries sustained when ZANU-PF supporters stoned a constitutional meeting in Mbare, Harare.

Mwonzora added that the rescheduled Harare outreach meetings will be broken down into smaller, more manageable groups to prevent people from other areas being bused in as reportedly occurred in September.

Mwonzora said the overall process remains on schedule despite delays experienced along the way.

Elsewhere in politics, Prime Minster Tsvangirai speaking as head of the dominant MDC formation urged Zimbabweans to register to vote to move past the unity government which he said has not delivered real change.

Addressing supporters on Sunday at Beit Hall in the Sakubva section of Mutare, capital of eastern Manicaland province, Mr. Tsvangirai said his party has launched an education drive to promote registration.

Mr. Tsvangirai said elections should only be held after the voters roll has been cleaned up and that the new Electoral Commission must ensure that elections will be transparent and peaceful. He repeated that his party would not quit the national unity government despite disagreements over adherence to the 2008 Global Political Agreement.

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