The Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said it was without merit to suggest that it was gross injustice unless the date was extended.
The deponent does not say what gross injustice would be occasioned.
Moreover, the applicants are not seeking an order extending the date. What is sought as appears in the draft is an order to stop the referendum date. Adequate public consultations, debates and civil education have already taken place. The one month will give ample opportunity to the people to make up their minds. Copies of the constitution are being made available in different languages.
He said the lifespan of the present Parliament would end on June 29 this year, hence the need to have the new Constitution passed and that the electoral legislation be amended to harmonise it with the new Constitution before that date.
The suggestion that respondents were in a hurry which does not accord with the democratic practices has no merit whatsoever.
In his founding affidavit, President Mugabe said it was up to the people of Zimbabwe to decide on the day of voting whether or not the time given to analyse the draft was adequate.
"The draft constitution has been prepared and what the people are being asked to do is vote for or against it. In deciding how to vote, the voter will of course take into account whether sufficient time has been given and any other relevant issues.
"The monopoly for making the decision does not lie with the applicants," he said. He said a voluntary association had no power to impose its views on the President, Government or any other person.
"They are not an authority on constitution-making and their views do not take precedence over those of others, " he argued.