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Zimbabwe Governing Parties Vow to Push On With Electoral Reform Hearings


The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has accused ZANU-PF militants of disrupting the meetings but ZANU-PF has similarly blamed MDC loyalists

Parties in Zimbabwe's rickety national unity government said Friday that they will keep scheduling public meetings to collect views on the Electoral Amendment Bill, a key piece of reform legislation, despite the disruption of a series of meetings this week.

Since the public hearings began October 17, meetings in Marondera, Mutare, Mutasa and Masvingo have been broken up or seriously disrupted, preventing people from expressing their views on the proposed reforms of the electoral system.

The Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has accused militants of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF of disrupting the meetings - but ZANU-PF officials have similarly pointed the finger at MDC loyalists.

Tsvangirai MDC lawmaker Shepherd Mushonga said the parliamentary committee on constitutional affairs has decided not to let violence disrupt the entire process.

ZANU-PF legislator Simbaneuta Mudarikwa, on the same parliamentary committee, was reported by the state-controlled Herald newspaper to have said that he had to run for his life at the Masvingo hearings with MDC youths in pursuit.

Mudarikwa said the media has exaggerated the disturbances and like Mushonga said the committee will continue collecting views until it can give a report to Parliament.

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