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Zimbabweans should participate in referendum- Madhuku

The Chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), Professor Lovemore Madhuku has urged Zimbabweans to participate in the referendum whether they vote 'Yes' or 'No' as they have the obligation to participate in the governance of their country. He said this during a public meeting hosted by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) and the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) on the 23rd of February 2012 at Crown Plaza Hotel in Harare. Professor Madhuku was part of a panel which included Honorable Douglas Mwonzora (COPAC CO-Chairperson), Mr. Thabani Nyoni (CiCZ Spokesperson), Dr Charity Manyeruke (Political Science Lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe) and was chaired by Mr. Herbert Domba (MPOI Chairperson).

In his presentation, Professor Madhuku emphasized that citizens should allow COPAC to complete its work and then make a judgment after the process is complete, through the referendum.   He stated that, "Give politicians time to write the constitution then we go for a referendum. It is up to Zimbabweans to decide whether they want the constitution or not. € Speaking at the same meeting the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Spokesperson, Thabani Nyoni indicated that civil society has played a major role in the constitution making process and even though the process is disappointing civics will continue supporting it. "As Civil society organizations we are going to support the Constitution making process which will make us move forward €, said Mr. Nyoni.

However, Dr. Manyeruke told participants that what is needed in Zimbabwe is implementation of laws and not necessarily a thousand documents put in writing. Dr. Manyeruke pointed out that the Constitution making process has become a political affair which is no longer people driven.

The COPAC Co-Chair Honorable Mwonzora dismissed the alleged National report published in The Herald in December 2011 as a farce and enlightened the audience that it was only a sixth of the whole National report. He informed people that information from the constitution is also being gathered from the Yellow draft constitution drafted in 1992, NCA draft, the rejected draft of 2000 and the Kariba draft.   In support of the drafters the Honorable noted that the drafters were well experienced and had the credentials to carry out the work as they were also involved in the 1999 draft.   The Honorable informed the audience that eighteen chapters had been produced with review of the seven completed by COPAC. The meeting was also informed that the leaking of the COPAC draft was done by an enemy who wanted to destroy the process and fuel divisions within the inclusive government. The Honorable noted that clause 642 was not targeted at any individual as indicated by the President R.G Mugabe speech on the eve of his birthday.

Four outstanding issues remain, according to Hon. Mwonzora, land, citizenship, structure of devalued government and the issue of the death penalty.

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