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Zimbabwe Parliament Set to Nominate Elections, Media, Rights, Corruption Panels

The Zimbabwean parliament has embarked on the process of nominating prospective members of commissions on elections, the media, human rights and corruption in line with the September 2008 power-sharing pact underpinning the unity government.

Nominations will be made by the House Committee on Standing Rules and Order which has more than 20 members from the three main political parties - the two majority formations of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, and President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

The committee will advertise the commission openings this week and submit names to President Mugabe for appointment by the end of the month, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga told VOA.

Matinenga told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that although Mr. Mugabe will appoint to the commissions, he must select from among names submitted by the committee, a process intended to minimize partisanship and maximize transparency.

The National Constitutional Assembly, meanwhile, said there was no truth to a report that it is running out of funds after losing a major sponsor.

The state-owned Sunday News, based in Bulawayo, reported that the Open Society Institute of Southern Africa withdrew funding because it did not want to bankroll the NCA’s opposition to the constitutional revision process led by a parliamentary committee.

Open Society Zimbabwe Program Manager Isabella Matambanadzo said she knew nothing of such a decision by the foundation created by financier-philanthropist George Soros.

NCA Chairman Lovemore Madhuku confirmed his group owes more than 100,000 rand to service providers, noting that outstanding accounts are perfectly normal for an active organization, but said reports his group is financially strapped were malicious.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...