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Zimbabwe constitution step closer

By on July 13, 2009

Zimbabwe is expected to take another step towards the drafting of a new constitution.

zimbabwe1 Several thousand politicians and civic leaders are to attend a Stakeholders’ Conference in Harare.
After a public consultation, the new constitution will be put to a referendum, according to the country’s power-sharing agreement. Once a charter is in place Zimbabwe is expected to have another attempt at holding a free and fair election.

Monday’s meeting is supposed to begin the process of consulting the Zimbabwean people about their new constitution.

Thousands of representatives from civil society are expected to meet with politicians in Harare to plot the way forward.

The battle lines have already been drawn between the two main partners in Zimbabwe’s coalition government, which was inaugurated in February.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change is calling for this to be a genuine public process – with ordinary people given a real say in drafting the document.

President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF wants the constitution based on what is called the Kariba Draft, which was drawn up by the parties last year.

But that draft’s critics it say gives the president too much executive power.

If all goes according to schedule a period of public consultation will be followed by a referendum on the new constitution this time next year.


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