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Zimbabwe's Constitution Committee Says Referendum Might be Held in September Next Year

The parliamentary committee in charge of revising the constitution said a referendum on the new basic document is unlikely to be held before September of next year due to funding shortages and other factors, casting doubt on prospects for national elections in 2011.

President Robert Mugabe has called for a vote to be held by mid-2011, but the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change said such elections can only be held once the new constitution is in place.

Constitutional committee Co-Chairman Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana of Zanu PF told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the panel might accelerate the process, but won’t be hurried by pressure to accommodate the elections.

Meanwhile, from Johannesburg, Benedict Nhlapho reported that the South African branch of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has launched a festive season bus campaign to urge diasporans visiting Zimbabwe over Christmas and New Year’s to visit the Registrar General to make sure they are on the voters roll.