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Lawyers for Zimbabwe Ruling Parties Agree Questionnaires for Constitutional Outreach


Lawyers for the three unity government parties have finished drafting talking points or questions that will be posed by constitutional outreach teams in engaging the people on their wishes for a revised basic document

Lawyers representing each of the three parties in Zimbabwe's unity government have completed drafts of the talking points or questions to be posed by constitutional outreach teams in engaging the people on their wishes for a revised constitution.

Talking points are organized by themes including founding principles, separation of state powers, the legislature, the judiciary and a bill of rights among others, sources close to the process said.

Zimbabweans will be asked if they want an executive president or prime minister, for instance, and whether term limits should apply to top offices.

Despite this step forward, the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said that political violence is on the rise ahead of the outreach phase of constitutional revision.

The former opposition party said youth supporters of the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe have set up militia bases in areas including the Harare suburb of Epworth, Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central province, Mutasa North in Manicaland province, Mudzi and Mutoko in Mashonaland East province, and Chiredzi and Gutu in Masvingo province.

The government, meanwhile, is struggling to raise US$28 million for the revision process, with some US$6 million in hand for the outreach phase.

Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga said it is up to the management committee in charge of the process to launch the consultation phase after meeting May 10 to adopt the talking points.

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