The Herald (Harare)

12 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Budgets U.S.$600 000 for Referendum

Zanu-PF has budgeted U.S$600 000 for the referendum with the money earmarked for awareness campaigns to ensure party supporters are thoroughly appraised on the constitution-making process. The decision is contained in the Central Committee report presented at the just-ended Zanu-PF Annual National Peoples Conference held in Gweru over the weekend.

Reads the report prepared by the party's finance department; "Provision for the referendum US$600 000. Though the referendum is a Government driven constitution-making process, the party has an obligation to make its membership aware of what is transpiring. This awareness campaign is likely to cost an estimated US$600 000."

The MDC-T supports the draft Constitution produced by Copac.

Its leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai is on record urging his party to support the document during the referendum.

There is currently a deadlock in the constitution-making process.

Parties in the inclusive Government have since set up a committee tasked to break the deadlock, which is delaying the completion of the process.

The committee is expected to expeditiously resolve areas of contestation in the Second All Stakeholders substantive report.

Once all the disagreements have been ironed out between partners in the inclusive Government, the draft constitution will be submitted to Parliament before it is subjected to a referendum paving the way for harmonised elections next year.

The Zanu-PF Conference unanimously resolved that the constitution-making exercise must be concluded before Christmas.

Failure to do so will see President Mugabe dissolving Parliament and setting the date for the elections as prescribed by the law.

"If divergent views are not reconciled, we will go straight for elections using the current Lancaster House Constitution. The Constitution-making process should be concluded before Christmas, of which failure to do so, the President is called upon to issue a proclamation to dissolve Parliament and set a date for harmonised elections," said Cde Patrick Chinamasa in his brief to the conference.

President Mugabe has also indicated that he will soon announce the election date if constitution-making continues to move at a snail's pace.

The MDC-T is contending that national elections can only be held under a new Constitution.

This is despite the fact that the inclusive Government's term of office has expired hence the need for elections.

Lack of cohesion, divergent policies and visions has affected the inclusive Government since its formation and both Zanu-PF and the MDC formations have admitted to its dysfunctionality.

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