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Zimbabwe Parliament Debates Constitutional Bill

Lawmakers in the House of Assembly today started debating the Constitutional Bill to pave the way for the draft charter, adopted by Zimbabweans in March, to become the country’s supreme law ahead of crucial polls expected to be called this year.

The bill was read for the second time in parliament today allowing legislators to debate some provisions of the charter though they will not be able to alter anything contained in the document since it has already been adopted at a referendum by Zimbabweans.

In his second reading speech of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 20 Bill, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Eric Matinenga praised the draft charter and commended Zimbabweans for writing their own constitution.

He said the passage of the bill marks the march of the Zimbabweans into a new prosperous Zimbabwe.

Contributing to debate on the bill, Finance Minister Tendai Biti, also commended Zimbabweans for coming up with what he said was a truly Zimbabwe constitution and not the Lancaster House Constitution which he said was not written by Zimbabweans.

Mr. Biti said the constitution gives Zimbabweans fulfills the unfinished business of the country’s liberation struggle.

Adding his voice, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans must congratulate themselves for writing their own constitution, adding its successful completion shows the unity and co-operation among the three parties in government.

Debate on the Constitutional Bill is still underway as normal sitting hours have been suspended. The bill is expected to sail through the lower house tomorrow.

In other news, Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya said he will move a motion in parliament Thursday calling on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to restart the mobile voter registration exercise.

He said the current program has not been sufficiently publicised.

Chikwinya wants the finance ministry to provide adequate funds to ZEC so it can carry out an effective voter registration exercise.
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