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Mavambo Leader Says Zimbabweans Should Reject Draft Constitution

Former Zimbabwean Finance Minster Simba Makoni addresses a press conference in Harare. (AP PHOTO/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi
Mavambo Kusile Dawn leader, Simba Makoni, says Zimbabweans should reject the draft constitution on Saturday.

Mr. Makoni told journalists in the capital today that the draft charter short-changes Zimbabweans in a number of areas, adding time given to ordinary people to study the document was not enough.

He said the draft constitution has serious shortcomings which the government is trying to hide from the people hence the rush to the referendum.

He said people must not be pushed by the positions of three political parties to adopt the charter which he believes is not a perfect document.

Makoni said Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations in government have publicly said they will amend the draft if they win elections but have not given satisfactory reasons why people must support a document they want to change the moment they get into power.

He said there is no reason for Zimbabweans to vote “for a less than best constitution” saying its rejection will not paralyse the country as it has a current constitution in place.

The Mavambo leader, who came third after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe in the 2008 presidential elections, said Zimbabwe’s crisis does not stem from a bad constitution.

Makoni said Zimbabwe’s crisis in the last 20 years was a result of a bad, incompetent and uncaring leadership.

While acknowledging some good sections in the draft constitution, he said his party is rejecting it on the basis of its discrimination against women on the death penalty and the maintaining of two chambers of parliament and its expansion, among other provisions.

Makoni, who joins other smaller parties and organizations such as MDC 99, the National Constitutional Assembly and the International Socialist Organization in a no vote campaign, however said his party will respect the outcome of Saturday’s referendum.
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