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Opponents of Zimbabwe Constitutional Revision Process Allege Bonanza for Politicians


The NCA charged that members of Parliament are getting up to $US350 dollars a day for the use of their cars in the revision effort, which the civic group estimates could add up to US$20,000 for each lawmaker involved

The National Constitutional Assembly has issued another broadside against the country's ongoing process of constitutional revision, calling it a scheme to serve financial and other interests of the political class.

The NCA charged that members of Parliament are getting up to $US350 dollars a day for the use of their cars in the revision effort, which the civic group estimates could add up to US$20,000 for each lawmaker involved.

The civic organization said some non-governmental organizations are backing the process led by a parliamentary select committee to curry favor with their Western backers in violation of their principles and values.

Long an advocate of a "people-driven" constitution for Zimbabwe, the NCA has opposed the leadership of the constitutional revision process by Parliament, saying a nonpolitical civic commission should direct the rewrite.

The NCA accused the co-chairmen of the constitutional select committee of "hypocrisy" in allegedly giving the public to believe that the cars offered by the members of parliament would be made available free of charge.

NCA Chairman Lovemore Madhuku reiterated in an interview with VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that the process should not be led by government officials, as politicians serve their own interests, not the people's.

VOA was unable to obtain a response from any of the three co-chairmen of the select parliamentary committee running the revision process, which is moving into the stage of public outreach to solicit comments and suggestions.

But Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga said he is “aware of such sentiments” and has asked the committee to look into those allegations, adding that transparency is critical to the process.

Earlier, Select Parliamentary Committee Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora dismissed reports that public consultations have been postponed.

He said that a Monday training session for facilitators was canceled, but that the constitutional revision management committee would meet as scheduled on Wednesday to map the next steps forward in the process.

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