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Zimbabwe Assembles US$8M Supplementary Budget for Constitutional Outreach

Parliamentary Select Committee Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora said more funds were needed to complete the constitutional outreach process as it had been extended by 23 days on top of 65 days planned

Zimbabwean Minister of Constitutional Affairs Eric Matinenga said Wednesday that the government with the help of international donors has put together a supplementary budget of some US$8 million for the often-troubled public outreach phase of the country's constitutional revision process expected to conclude in September, followed by drafting.

VOA Studio 7 correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported on a news conference called by Matinenga in which he said a national command center for the outreach process will shortly be established in Harare. More than 1,000 outreach meetings have been held around the country, but the process has yet to start in Harare and Bulawayo.

Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora of the parliamentary select committee running the constitutional revision process, said more funds were needed to complete the outreach as it was extended by 23 days on top of 65 days planned.

Mwonzora said the outreach process, initially plagued by organizational and technical problems, is now running smoothly despite reports some drivers were threatening a strike because they had not been paid. Some outreach team members received allowances this week, but sources said drivers received no explanation as to why they were left out.

Mwonzora told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that contracts for drivers are not the same as the contracts outreach team members have in that they are paid on the 25th of the month.