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Zimbabwe's Constitutional Revision Public Outreach Process to Resume Monday

In outreach talking points distributed when the process began in mid-June, the phrase 'the arms of government' was rendered in Ndebele as 'the weapons of government,' confusing many Zimbabweans

The public outreach phase of Zimbabwe's constitutional revision process will resume on Monday following a break of one week for the reopening of Parliament, and outreach teams will be distributing a new set of talking points to sharpen translations into the country's two main indigenous Shona and Ndebele languages

In the version circulated when the outreach campaign started in mid-June, for example, the phrase “the arms of government” was rendered in Ndebele as “the weapons of government,” confusing many Zimbabweans.

Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the parliamentary select committee in charge of constitutional revision said the talking points have been vetted by experts in the vernacular languages for accuracy and clarity. But he said the talking points remain essentially the same, though some explanatory notes have been added.

Mwonzora told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that his committee has used the week-long break to make sure outreach teams have adequate equipment - logistical and technical issues plagued the early stages of the effort.

Elsewhere, police in the Goromonzi South constituency of Mashonaland East province disrupted a meeting Friday in Ruwa organized by the Youth Agenda Trust to encourage youths to take part in the outreach process, saying the gathering had not been sanctioned by authorities, this despite suspension of public meeting restrictions.

VOA Studio 7 correspondent Irwin Chifera reported from Ruwa on the police action.