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Zimbabwe Constitutional Revision Process Remains Stalled; Funding Issues Cited


Co-Chairman Edward Nkosi of the parliamentary select committee in charge of the process said he couldn't give a firm date for the start of the public comment phase as haggling continues between donors and Harare over funding

A Zimbabwean parliament member closely involved in the country's constitutional revision process, stalled for many weeks, said Monday that there is still no firm date for the launch of the public outreach phase.

Co-chairman Edward Nkosi of the parliamentary select committee in charge of the process said he couldn't give a firm date for the start of the public comment phase as haggling continues between international donors and the government over how various costs will be met.

The government put up US$120,000 to train rapporteurs who will record public opinion in the outreach phase, but donors are seeking a larger commitment, he said. Nkosi added that while donors have been willing to cover costs such as accommodations and meals, they drew the line at paying per diem allowances for participants.

President Mugabe in an Independence Day speech said the process was underway and critical to pave the way for elections. But some observers wondered whether all of the parties to the power sharing arrangement between his ZANU-PF and the two wings of the Movement for Democratic Change are eager to see elections.

Select committee co-chairman Nkosi told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that it remains uncertain when all of the funding issues will be addressed so that the revision process, which is supposed to be concluded by September or October, can resume.

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