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Zimbabwe Minister Says Draft Charter Imminent, But Critics Unconvinced

Zimbabwe's Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga says the panel responsible for writing a new charter will produce the long-delayed draft by Friday, but many have their doubts after several previous false starts.

Matinenga refuted reports that the first draft was ready for submission to the three leaders of the parties in the unity government for perusal and approval.

Sources said outstanding issues of devolution and dual citizenship have been resolved after the governing partners finally reached an agreement.

But critics accuse the parliamentary select committee, writing the new constitution, of sidelining views collected from ordinary people and borrowing most clauses from the Kariba draft, agreed earlier by political parties before the new process was started.

Matinenga told VOA there was nothing wrong in consulting the Kariba draft, adding they had made references to other countries' charters such as Zambia, the U.S. and South Africa to shape the draft currently in the works.