Zimbabwe's parliamentary select committee on constitutional revision decided late Wednesday to authorize more than one outreach meeting in each Harare ward this weekend when residents of the capital and Bulawayo, the second-largest city, will express their views on the constitution.
Select Committee Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora said schedules for weekend outreach sessions will be issued by 11:00 a.m. on Thursday. The announcement followed a marathon meeting with ZANU-PF provincial officials who said there should be only one meeting per Harare ward.
VOA Studio 7 correspondent Irwin Chifera reported that Mwonzora said he was surprised ZANU-PF wanted to restrict meetings when there have been no such restrictions nationwide to date.
The Harare Residents Trust meanwhile said that despite the controversy residents are eager to speak their minds on the new basic document. Residents Trust Coordinator Precious Shumba said issues such as as presidential terms and decentralization have generated strong interest.
Outside the two main cities, constitutional outreach teams were wrapping things up, though in the Midlands, with the most meetings to complete, the exercise was to continue on the weekend.
But most other outreach team members are expected to converge in Harare and Bulawayo on the weekend for the outreach effort in the two largest cities.
Midlands outreach team leader Amos Chibaya told VOA reporter Patience Rusere said his province is one of the largest in the country and needs to catch up with the rest of the country.
Sources in Matebeleland North said they would finish up meetings in Umguza Wednesday then head for Bulawayo. But team members will go to Tsholotsho and Nkayi next week.
In Mashonaland Central province, outreach team leader Shepherd Mushonga said most meetings have been held, though some team members were to head back to Mount Darwin on Monday.
Outreach sources in Mashonaland West said teams there would head for Harare on Friday but return next week to hold final meetings in Kariba, among other locations.