15 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Madhuku Slams Referendum Dates

Zimbabwean Justices

NATIONAL Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairperson Lovemore Madhuku has described as "nonsense" and "meaningless" the move by the inclusive government to hold a referendum on the draft constitution in four weeks' time, saying it gave insufficient time for people to study the document.

Madhuku said this in an interview yesterday following Wednesday's announcement by Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga that the referendum would be on March 16. Matinenga said his ministry would hold two meetings per province while Copac would hold one meeting in each district to explain the draft to the people in the run-up to the referendum. But Madhuku described Matinenga's pronouncement as "ridiculous", and indicated the NCA would wait for the gazetting of the draft constitution expected today before filing a High Court application to halt the process and allow people to get two months to go through the draft constitution. Coordinator of the International Socialist Organisation Munyaradzi Gwisai has slammed the constitution-making process saying it fails to address "fundamental issues of severe poverty, gender and social inequality".

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