19 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Group Files an Application to Stop Upcoming Referendum

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) in Zimbabwe has today filed an application at the country's High Court seeking an extension of the referendum date which is set for March 16th, saying the public has not been given time to read and understand the complex draft constitution.

The pressure group said in a statement on Monday 18th March 2013 that Zimbabweans would need at least two months, and not 30 days, to conduct civic education to analyse the draft charter so that they can make informed decisions on what they will be voting for.

The NCA accuses ZANU PF and the two MDC formations of fast tracking the process, as a ploy to deny Zimbabweans a chance to "scrutinize the flawed and undemocratic draft which they authored."

Political activist and University of Zimbabwe lecturer, Munyaradzi Gwisai, told SW Radio Africa: "There are no bread and butter socio economic rights for women, for students, for workers in this constitution. It's a constitution for the rich and the politicians."

The draft charter was presented to Parliament on February 6th and it only took the House of Assembly 24 hours to adopt and approve the draft. This was followed by a government gazette a week later, stating that the referendum will be held next month.

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