The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has started accrediting observers and journalists for the constitutional referendum to be held next week Saturday.
Accreditation will take place in Harare, Bulawayo and Masvingo as from Thursday and will carry on until referendum day.
Observer missions from the European Union and the US have been barred, under orders issued by ZANU PF ministers. But Jameson Timba, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's office, said the responsibility to invite and accredit observers for the referendum and elections, in terms of the Electoral Act, lies entirely with the ZEC.
'ZEC is not ZANU PF and ZANUPF is not ZEC. As MDC we have nothing to hide and therefore anyone from Honolulu to Timbuktu is free to come and observe our elections.
'It is only those who have skeletons in their cupboards, or should I say whole cemeteries, who have something to hide and as such are opposed to international observation,' Timba said on his Facebook page.
Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us representatives from all diplomatic missions accredited to Zimbabwe will be allowed to monitor the referendum.
'EU and US diplomats already working in Harare will be allowed to observe but there is no restriction to any other country or body based on the African continent,' Muchemwa said.
Local journalists, observers from civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations, will pay a fee of US$10 each to get accreditation, while those from the African continent will pay US$20 a head.
Observers representing diplomatic missions of countries outside Africa, but stationed in Harare, will pay US$50 a head. International observers and journalists from outside Africa will be asked to pay US$300 a head.
With all political parties pushing for a Yes vote in the referendum, it's expected that the new constitution will sail through. The charter, for the first time, sets presidential term limits.
It's not known whether Zimbabweans will be keen to vote on a constitution they know little about, or if there will be voter apathy.