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Zapu: Zimbabweans Should Back Original Draft Constitution

The Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) led by former Home Affairs Minister Dumiso Dabengwa says Zimbabweans should back the country’s original draft constitution compiled by a parliamentary committee following a public outreach program.

Dabengwa told Studio 7 the first draft contains most of the issues raised by members of the public while the negotiated document left out critical public views.

The Zapu leader described as nonsensical, a third draft constitution which has been compiled by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party that is now opposing the negotiated constitutional parliamentary committee document.

The two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have adopted the agreed second draft charter while Zanu PF wants the three parties to adopt their re-written document.

Dabengwa said an all-stakeholders conference has to determine the contents of the final draft constitution.

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Meanwhile, the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) has started campaigning for a ‘yes’ constitutional vote despite Zanu PF protests.

MDC-T organizing secretary Nelson Chamisa told Studio 7's Blessing Zulu that his party held 18 rallies Saturday in various parts of the country to drum up support for the draft constitution.

Chamisa said Zimbabweans want a democratic constitutional process which will result in the holding of free and fair elections.
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At the same time, non-governmental organizations have cried foul over new police requirements compelling them to submit consent letters from venue providers before holding any public meetings.

Thabani Nyoni, spokesman for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said Sunday police are demanding that they should follow the new regulations or risk breaking some provisions of the dreaded Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
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POSA requires NGOs and other organizations to inform the police about details of venues before holding any gatherings.

Nyoni said the new requirements are an attempt to intimidate civic groups ahead of crucial general polls to be held next year.