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Zimbabwe Constitutional Committee Co-Chairman Sees Draft Ready by October

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Map of Zimbabwe

Map of Zimbabwe

Completion of the drafting process in October would reflect a three-month lag on the schedule laid out in the September 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing, which indicated a referendum by July 2010

The task of drafting a new constitution for Zimbabwe should be completed by October, one of the co-chairman of the parliamentary select committee in charge of the task told VOA on Tuesday, though other sources said it is unclear when a national referendum on the new basic document might be held.

Completion of the drafting process in October would reflect a three-month lag on the schedule laid out in the September 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing, which indicated a referendum by July 2010. Political squabbles and funding issues have held up progress in overhauling the document.

But the process has received a shot in the arm with the injection of funds by the government and the United Nations Development Fund.

Parliamentary Select Committee Co-Chairman Paul Mangwana of ZANU-PF told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that there is no going back because resources are now available - though ultimately more will be needed.

The parliamentary committee for constitutional revision said the estimated 4 million Zimbabweans living outside the country in the so-called diaspora will have a chance to contribute to the constitutional revision process.

Select Committee Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said that Article VI of the Global Political Agreement says every Zimbabwean must take part in the process, telling VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that no one ceases to be a Zimbabwean because he or she is an expatriate.

The National Constitutional Assembly, a civic organization, again vowed to mobilize opposition the parliamentary-led revision process, which it says is not driven by the popular will. NCA spokesman Madock Chivasa said the group will work with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and the Zimbabwe National Students Union to demand a "people-driven" constitution.

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